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  1. Margaret says:

    subscribing

  2. Jo says:

    Thank you Gretch 😊

    • Jo says:

      This new page may make it easier for many..I managed to access the blog up to today by signing in every time, not a problem either way.

    • theultimateguru says:

      Indeed, thank you Gretchen! It’s a lot easier to load a page with 5 comments than a page with 4,000 comments. Even with a fast cable internet connection, it was taking me almost 15 seconds just to zero in on the latest comments.

  3. Phil says:

    At home the end of the blog page, where I want to put comments, can be very slow to reach, so this helps. It’s the ads which slow it down. At work we must have some type of ad blocker, so that’s not a problem. I’d like to get that for my PC at home.
    Phil

    • David says:

      nearly every browser offers AdBlocker. I have Kaspersky Total Security. Early on many sites were restricting access in response to adblocking, but seem to have given up on that.

  4. Larry says:

    I am moved by this father’s 5 minute time-lapse video portrait of his daughter from birth to age 20. Our closest relatives, apes and chimpanzees, take 3-4 years to develop from birth to adulthood, whereas we require 20. It brings me to tears to think of how caring and attentive this father was to his children’s development. It makes me feel sad that I never had kids. It makes me feel awful and hopeless for how starved for caring and attention I was during my development years, and how that blighted the rest of my life.

    https://petapixel.com/2019/11/21/dad-captures-time-lapse-portrait-of-his-daughter-from-birth-to-age-20/?mc_cid=b25acca055&mc_eid=33e19110d6

  5. Larry says:

    On Oct. 30 I wrote about getting ready to exhibit my prints in an art show fundraiser, held on Nov 1 & 2. Having to present to the public for the two days was exhausting. The other exhibitors had the same feeling. I felt overall disappointed with the show. Thinking about it primally I guess I didn’t get the love I was wanting. During the show I felt a cold coming on. The next day the cold got a grip on me and I’ve been dealing with it since, going for long stretches of poor sleep, too exhausted to do much or to primal, and feeling more and more isolated and fragile, more and more empty, worthless and despondent about my life, and feeling I’ll be unable to ever muster any will or energy to pull myself out of the hole I was spiralling in to. In recent days I felt some panic that I’ve forever lost any zest for life, that I’m close to a breakdown of the kind that people get put into institutions for, that I desperately and anxiously need to be loved, held and cared for like a little child if I’m to have any kind of meaningful existence at all for the remainder of my life, but no one is going to care for me like a little child so I’m up against an existential wall.

    This morning I guess I felt recovered enough from the cold, and I broke down. You can say all kinds of wonderful things about this therapy, the therapists and the retreats, but what it all boils down to is that we are each individually all alone with the devastation of our lives and how we deal with it. I cried poison that’s been coursing through my veins as far back as I can remember. I cried my truth of being so alone for so long, feeling the cruelty of the love not being there that a child needs to grow up into life, feeling the need for a reason for why life went so wrong for me, then crying exquisitely painful awful truth that there was no reason other than the cold reality that my parents were inadequate, so by cruel heartless chance, my life was doomed to a shattered, short existence almost from the start. After feeling some of the unchangeable truth, if I’m to carry on I now somehow have to find a way go forward despite the void.

    The life unleashing power of this therapy is that it got me here, still willing and wanting to make a better present and future for me, where only hours ago I didn’t see one was possible.

  6. Phil says:

    Larry, those sound like heavy feelings. I hope you can find a way forward after feeling some of that truth about your life, I feel like you can. Phil

    • Larry says:

      Thanks Phil. I hope I can. Perhaps due to the lingering effects of weakness and isolation due to having a cold for the past 3 weeks, or because I’m facing up to my reality, I feel depressed about the emptiness in my life. Event though I had lunch with an acquaintance on Thursday who I did a favour for, and even though I attended a workshop at church on Friday evening and today and participated and spoke my mind in group more than I ever dared before. People listened intently because they felt that what I said was meaningful. People in the congregation have told me they are glad that I haven’t left the congregation the way some others have given up on it in the turmoil following a congregational crisis 1 1/2 years ago. I hadn’t realized I fill such an important space in people’s lives who are trying to hold the congregation together. Nevertheless, I come home to emptiness. I feel that I have no one to enjoy life with.

      In the small group discussions and soul searching that took place in the workshop today, I was surprised and disappointed by how little in touch these good people were with their feelings and intuition, and how little they are able to empathize with, hear and emotionally support each other through the crisis that the congregation has been going through for the past 1 1/2 years. It is as if the congregation has become my token family, but like my real family they are out of touch with themselves and each other, so I am alone.

      I wish I was working, not retired, and had the workplace routine and colleagues to distract myself from my life problems, but I guess distraction doesn’t solve them. I need a few people or at least a person in my life where we have a deep understanding and respect for who each other is and want to spend time with each other. I guess if I was a child, I’d feel a similar need for the understanding and respect of a mother who cares.

      • Larry says:

        I notice it lifts my spirits to have you to write to on the blog about this, rather than keeping it to myself.

        • Phil says:

          Larry,
          I’m glad you shared about this with us on the blog.

          My news is that my wife and I finally had a discussion about our argument from two weeks ago when we had friends over. It was helpful and it seems like we needed that delay before being able to address it. There has been a big improvement between us, but we aren’t entirely back to where we should be. I hope that will happen before we go away for Thanksgiving this week to spend a few days with my extended family. I don’t like the feeling of being kind of like a fake couple, one that isn’t getting along right in private, when we are at such a gathering. It has happened quite a few times in the past.
          Phil

        • Larry says:

          Wow I bet she appreciates being able to discuss it, even though I guess it’s scary to do for you both.

          • Phil says:

            Larry,
            Well, she didn’t seem to want to discuss it, I guess because of the potential for making things worse, but luckily that didn’t happen.
            Phil

  7. Margaret says:

    at 1.30 a.m. last night I got a phone call from the nursing home.
    my mom had wandered around in her room singing a bit, and possibly going up to her table to drink some water. the nurses had heard it but suddenly heard her screaming. she had lost her balance and it seemed she broke her shoulder and was in a lot of pain.
    so, Wim, the male nurse, told me he had considered calling a doctor and transferring her in the morning to the hospital, but had then decided to call an ambulance right away.
    It was of course a bit of a shock, in the middle of the night, while I had had to take some migraine medication when i went to bed.
    I called the emergency ward from the clinic and they told me they had given her some more painkillers and would take an X-ray soon.
    I left a message to my brother but when I noticed he had not heard it gave him a call.
    one hour later I called the emergency center again, as by then I felt I needed to go there if she would have to stay there, i did not want to wait and leave her there by herself until my brother would drive over the next day.
    it would have been hard as I had not had much sleep and still felt the migraine, but I was willing to do it and go there with a taxi if necessary.
    but the doctor of the emergency told me she had indeed broken her left shoulder but added he had already sent her back to the nursing home with her arm in a support.
    it would have to heal with time, and she would have to come over for checkups from time to time.
    it felt like a bit of a relief she was already going back to the more familiar surrounding, so I called my brother and we will go there this afternoon.
    at 6 a.m. the same nurse called me to let me know she was back and that she had slept a bit but would need good painkillers.
    it will be difficult, the pain won’t allow her to dress or to walk or maybe even to use the wheelchair for a while, and she will have to have a safety bar back on her bed and won’t be able anymore to go to the bathroom by herself as she was doing lately again.
    i feel very sorry for her, but well, better a shoulder than her hip, and luckily no stay at the hospital.
    Friday she will have her 89th birthday.
    she was getting very well lately, active and walking more and more again, so she is luckily in a better shape than if this would have happened one or two months ago.
    hopefully she finds the courage and strength once more to heal…
    M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, I hope your mother is able to heal quickly from that. Much better that it wasn’t her hip.
      Phil

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: Sorry to hear about your mom’s fall. I hope she recovers from it quickly, but good that she’s not isolated in the hospital, but back to things more familiar. I too have to be very careful about losing my balance and falling.

      Jack

  8. jackwaddington says:

    Hi Everyone: I went to see the doctor on Wednesday and the results are still somewhat inconclusive,, but it seems that cancer is not one of them, though the diagnosis, is not decisive enough to totally rule out. So! I have been asked to come back again and have another C T scan in January to see if they can pin it down.

    There was also, from the Xrays, a sign that there is some infection in the right lung; so I am on another week of antibiotics. Conclusion … for me … these are the result of getting old.

    My general feeling is:- not the same amount of energy as before all this occurred and somewhat lethargic. However, I do have a lifesaver in Jim, and I feel really lucky about that, and love him dearly for it.

    Jack

  9. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    I am impressed with my mom.
    we heard that her upper arm bone is broken just below the shoulder, a spot where they can’t plaster it so the only solution is for her to hang her arm in a supporting ‘towel’, don’t know the proper name for it.
    the good news is she was in her wheelchair despite the pain and still participating a bit socially.
    but of course it is a sorry situation, she forgets what happened and will have to endure pain for weeks and weeks until it heals.
    to sleep there is only laying on her back, in a safety kind of sleeping bag in which she can move but can’t fall out of bed.
    I gave her a book with pictures of cats and brief sentences with each picture, the title of the book’ what we can learn from cats’. one of the sentences was ‘always honestly show what you feel’, no idea what the picture showed , maybe a hissing cat, maybe a cat purring and rubbing his head against someones face, with its eyes closed in delight as they can do.
    tomorrow a girlfriend will come over and go with me to see our mom, which is very nice.
    hope mom gets the painkillers she needs, specially at night .
    and still she is so sweet and easily smiling, and showing concern all the time about us, are we ok, do we have all we need, do we have a partner etc.
    love her so much.
    M

  10. Margaret says:

    Jack,
    yes, I am happy for you and Jim to have each other!
    M

  11. Phil says:

    Margaret,
    Your mother sure seems tough. She goes through a lot, recovers, and is able to continue. She’s resilient, and you have a lot to do with it because of all the support you give.
    Phil

  12. Leslie says:

    A ‘sling’ is the word I think you want for what your mom is having to wear for her arm Margaret.
    Sorry to hear about her injury. She must feel so fortunate to have such love and care from you!
    L

  13. Margaret says:

    hi all, thanks for the support.
    went to visit my mom with a girlfriend today. mom started crying upon seeing me, distressed because hurting and not knowing why, but she quickly cheered up again, interested by the book I gave her yesterday, ‘what we can learn from cats’.
    it was fun while she read all the sidelines of the pictures and her comments on it, showing her spirit still, making us all laugh.
    we had hot chocolate in the cafeteria and I asked one of the nurses to try out putting a pillow or folded towel under her bad arm at night to keep it in the same position more or less as during the daytime while laying on her back to sleep.
    she said she would suggest it to the nurse of the night shift, hope she does not forget…
    Mom is inspiring in both allowing herself to express her feelings and still making the best of life and being concerned with the people around her as well.
    quite a lady really.
    M

  14. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: I had a really bad dream last night and I am still reeling from it.
    In the dream, I was asked by what I assumed was Art Janov to join a group of patients (10 or so) to a form of retreat. At the end the guy leading the group (A therapist from the center I presumed, told me that I was not doing Primal therapy and was fooling myself and that I was a terrible patient. I realized at that point it was not Javov since he was dead but one of the leading therapists at the center. I was shattered, but I did not argue with him … then I woke up being very agitated.

    I began on waking to wonder what the feeling was in that dream, but came up with a blank and was thinking about it all during getting dressed, washed and having breakfast. I am still not quite sure what it all really means in terms of feelings. However, it brought up the following for me in this order:-
    1) Maybe my response to Larry on the blog was a terrible mistake.
    2) Throughout my life, I was always pretty confident in life, thanks to my Granny, who loved me dearly.
    Except for one period in my life from 5 through 9 when my father would creep up the stairs after we were all sent to bed well before we were ready. Then on some pretexed that we were misbehaving would spank each one of us on our bottoms until we cried. crying ourselves to sleep.
    That had a profound effect on us all and in particular me and my brother who shortly afterward started to wet the bed during the night and started for me to shit in my pants. well into my teens. All this demonstrating the damage done by spanking us children for being children.

    On regaining some of myself in later teens and 20’s I regained back some of my confidence, which carries through to this day. Now, (after this dream) I am still in a lot of doubt about that confidence. I will do my utmost to work through all this for the rest of the day, AND if anyone is able to give me some idea/feedback (seeing me from the outside) I would greatly appreciate it.

    Jack

    • Phil says:

      Jack,

      Which response to Larry were you talking about? I looked but couldn’t figure out which one it would be.

      Phil

      • jackwaddington says:

        Phil; I too cannot find it so perha[s I never posted it in the first place, but at the cost of it perhaps being a mistake here it is again:-
        “Larry: That loneliness of yours seems to have been reverberating within you for the whole of your life.

        As I see the difference between aloneness and loneliness, that “loneliness” is suffering “aloneness”, I’m sure you know all this. As I read you, I feel you need to work on getting out there to find a partner to live with, which would perhaps help, especially if you could talk about your loneliness together.

        I am aware that you go to meetings of the congregation, AND, perhaps there is a potential partner there. If not, try and find other groups … of say, retired singles. There must be many people out there having retired who are feeling lonely. Of course; no-one is ever going to be able to replace Noreen; but from my last seeing you, I feel you are a very eligible candidate for a compatible partner. Sure enough, just getting out there is both scary and trying, but I feel it’s worth trying out that route.

        I hope you don’t mind me putting in my two cents worth.”

        Jack

        • Phil says:

          Jack,
          It’s more for Larry to say, but I don’t see anything wrong with this comment.

          Phil

        • Larry says:

          Jack, just to give you feedback, your comment doesn’t tell me anything that I don’t know.

        • Larry says:

          I should add that it’s OK that you offered your two cents. I want you to know that the more I accept my aloneness, the more real and meaningful my relationships with casual and more serious friends and with family are becoming. It’s astounding to me how I’m being allowed more intimately into their lives. That I’m worthwhile and appreciated by them gives me increasing confidence in trusting and being who I am, though it’s scary. It is incredible to me how much suppressed fear I’ve lived with much of my life, that I’m uncovering.

          My intuition and radar drive and guide me in the hunt for a partner….but loneliness is not sufficient criteria for a relationship. In my quest I keep opening more deeply to how alone and scared I feel, and to how Noreen is never coming back to comfort me, while at the same time there are many women out there any one of whom being in a relationship with would exponentially enhance both our lives, if it’s the right person. My strategy for finding that right person is to embrace and engage in my life as openly and fully as I can. That includes being a member of a singles group, and yes, there is a surplus of retired, single women in it.

  15. Phil says:

    This morning I have some memories filtering through, things I’ve repressed, of my mothers erratic behavior towards me. I think it’s in connection with problems my wife and I are still having. Why
    it can be difficult for me to discuss things with her, and why I usually let certain things go which bother me. This time we had a confrontation, but we should be able to recover from it. We have more things to discuss, as she’s still shutting me out and upset about what happened, whereas I feel pretty much finished with it.

    Phil

  16. jackwaddington says:

    Hi Everyone: I have just learned that my little sister has had a fall and broken her hip and is in hospital. The problem is:- there is no-one close by to come and visit her. She was in the process of leaving her current home to be near to her two daughters when she had the fall. Her daughters are 200 miles away and working and unable to come up and visit or take care of her. I will email one of her daughters to see if they have been able to talk to her.

    My other sister lives 20 miles away, but neither she nor her husband has a car and that 20 miles trip is not easy by public transport. She does possess a cell phone but I have not been able to contact her using that number, which on checking is the correct number.

    All this is bothering me and causing some anxiety since she is my favorite sister, and we are quite close. Also, there is no-one at the hospital that I am able to get in contact with … so I’m left ‘whistling in the breeze’.

    I just needed to write it here to get it off my chest.

    Jack

    • Larry says:

      Such is our dilemma when we live lives apart from family.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: for me, it’s not such a dilemma as I do have several ways to keep in contact.
        However, as I see it, we start off needing mommy and daddy and our siblings, but as we progress through life they become less of an imperative … yet reaming something we desire to keep in contact with for many of us.

        However, Jim wants little or nothing to do with his family for his own good reasons, and I know others that feel the same.

        Jack

        • David says:

          The norm I grew u with, was parents provided for their vulnerable children, and then later the grown children provided for aged parents. Amazing, too, how it was the norm for folks in their 90’s still independent in their own homes. Now that 60 is becoming the new 90, the nursing home industry is rampant, folks often placed 100’s of miles from their home communities.

  17. Margaret says:

    Jack,
    even if your sister does not have her personal phone line in her hospital room, you should be able to talk to her if you call her ward, by asking the reception desk helper to put you through, and often the nurses pass on their phone for a little while to the patient in these cases.
    minimally they should pass on a message to her from you.
    good luck, M

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: Thanks for the info, but I got in touch with her daughter, my niece, and am now being kept up to date.

      Jack

  18. Phil says:

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    We’re traveling today and having Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I wasn’t feeling any enthusiasm for this in the past days, except for having time off from work. But now I am looking forward to seeing my extended family and we’ll be talking about fun things like impeachment and the upcoming democratic primaries, but usually nothing personal. It’s OK, that’s how they are.

    Phil

    • Larry says:

      I was of the impression that it’s dangerous to discuss politics at family gatherings if you want to try to have a happy time together.

      • Phil says:

        Most of us are in agreement. I wouldn’t discuss those things if it could lead to an argument. My uncle will hardly talk about anything else. Well, he also likes history,
        but that gets old for me.
        Phil

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: Not in my family, since we all loved the argument, and it was encouraged by my father in particular. He felt it kept us all on our toes, and it was NEVER unpleasant, as I remember it. We did this with religion, politics and some other factors of our current lives as of then:- like who we wanted as friends, and playmates

        Jack

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: I find this holiday in the US to have lost its original intent. As I understand it; some of the earlier settlers were very grateful to the native Americans for their survival.

      As I once noted at a ‘thanksgiving’ retreat I asked where was the native American to give our thanks too.

      My asking drew a blank.

      Jack

  19. Daniel says:

    How the West won the Cold War

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: My gut tells me the West did not win the cold war; the east (Russia), lost the cold war. Mainly as a result of the Bolshevik revolution finishing up in the hands of Stalin.

      What it showed in that clip, was the Rusian folk dancing that originated in France, got transposed to Russia, perfected by Balle Russe (Diagalev), then the west took it up, calling it Ballet.

      Had Stalin not been so paranoid he could have actually eventuated the ultimate goal of Marx’s communism. He Stalin stalled it on his inauguration.

      All this put civilization back many decades, that I sincerely contend the next generation yet to be born, will protest, and eventually achieve that ultimate goal … where each of us individually will achieve total sovereignty of ourselves and FREEDOM. As of the moment; it is not comprehended.

      Beware … it on its way.

      Jack

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: Did the west actually win the ‘cold war’? I’m not sure we did. Seeing what is happening globally, I see disaster for humanity … primarily because we have wars … hot or cold.

      Jack

  20. erlt83 says:

    Received an ad presented on what appears to be letterhead for this page. Gretchen is this valid?
    David Hardy, Primal Class of 86/87 (:

  21. David says:

    ahh , finally got my wordpress Public ID to change; now I need updated photo, I’m again clean shaven.

  22. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    happy Thanksgiving to you too, and to everyone else.
    hope the family gathering is nice, I heard there is a lot of snow in the US .
    yesterday I was at my mom’s birthday with my sister, and will go tomorrow again with my brother and his girlfriend.
    the head nurse told me they have to be very vigilant with her, specially during the nights.
    despite the fixation precautions as a kind of sleeping bag and a bar on the side of her bed to prevent her from falling, she still makes attempts to get out of the bed, even with her broken arm/shoulder, not in a cast. they found her once already with her two legs dangling over the bar on the side of her bed, which would be a pretty high fall.
    they do what they can, checking on her regularly and helping her to the toilet before going to bed and when she asks for it at night.
    during the day she is in a wheelchair, sometimes with the sling, sometimes without as she does not like it and refuses it. the knot on the back bothers her at night as well, so sometimes she sleeps without.
    it is amazing with all of that she does fairly well in remaining active and curious.
    also it was a relief to watch her get out of and back in the wheelchair with the use of one arm and the help of one nurse without too much pain.
    but i got the impression they give her stronger painkillers now as her voice was more soft and her words a bit as if she had drunk sometimes.
    on the other hand sometimes she brought up persons she usually does not even remember. ha, she must be somewhat stoned I guess with the painkiller.
    she is allowed to have one strong one a day apart from the usual paracetamol.
    I tend to think it would be best they give it at night but I cannot control it all of course and must trust their judgments sometimes.
    but I got angry yesterday as she was in her room when we arrived, in her wheelchair but dressed almost in summer cloths, the window half open and the heating off, it was cold in there and drafty and her hands were ice-cold.
    I have told them repeatedly to dress her warmer, but those nurses sometimes go by their own perception, forgetting they are busy and the patients sit still.
    Sigh…
    but well, so far so good, I am still very proud of my mom and about the way she copes making the best of things still.
    I hope so much she can get better and heal and have some more nice time we can enjoy together, outside when spring and summer come back!
    m

    • Phil says:

      Margaret,
      I hope they can continue to help your mother so that she is comfortable but doesn’t fall again.
      Phil

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: It’s lovely that you are so concerned and loving towards your mother, but I do feel it’s better asking her what she wants and why she doesn’t want to be strapped in bed.

      I say all this as I can easily relate to her, as I’m in a similar situation … having to get up several times in the night to pee. and do it on my own … my way. Sure enough, I also have to be careful of falling as my balance is not ‘up to par’.

      Jim often insists that I do it his way … That annoys me since as I keep telling him, it’s my body and some of his instances I don’t always find helpful. A good example is if my contact lens slips, and I’m not able to get it back over the eye, I have to ask him, and he hardly relates to what I go through and he insists on doing it his way. Sometimes that hurts, then he gets upset that I twitch from the hurt.

      Sure enough, I’m no always the best judge of things, but I feel ‘it takes two to tango’

      Jack

    • David says:

      My indigenous family views it a bit differently from the church recorded story of the etiology of tanksgiving…. more a story of one more lure to death by massacre.

  23. Phil says:

    We are back from our Thanksgiving gathering and everything went pretty well. I was sad to see that my uncle has faded considerably and I didn’t spend much time talking to him as a result. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to tell me much more about my mother.. The young people, including my sons, had a great time bonding with each other, and to me, that has always been the main reason for going to these gatherings. Otherwise, they would never have had any contact with my extended family, because we aren’t close.

    Phil

    • Larry says:

      Now that my parents have both died, my siblings and I and their spouses rarely get together all under one roof, so my nieces and nephews don’t see each other much anymore and miss the big family gatherings.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: I find a lot of this family gathering stuff to be counterproductive, One is either close to one’s family OR not. Luckily we were a close family (due mainly to my mother) but Jim is on the very opposite end of that spectrum … and I understand him and it.

      I contend we take issues about many things, many times that are contradictory to our feelings. Family gatherings are such a case.

      Unless there’s some joy in the gathering; what’s the point?

      Jack

      • Phil says:

        Jack,
        it isn’t so black and white for me in being either close to my family or not. Of course, if I don’t go to gatherings, there would be no opportunity to be close. My impulse for Thanksgiving is to be with family, and I think that’s important. As I said, I think it’s also important for my kids to be able to connect with my extended family. My aunt and uncle include us in their family gatherings, which is nice, since we have no one else, and they have an intact family which properly relates with each other, and they don’t need to include me.
        My closest family is my sister, but she wants nothing to do with me. I don’t want to be like her. She’s completely isolated herself from the family. Over Thanksgiving, my uncle asked about her, but my answer is always the same every year; I haven’t heard from her. This year I realized a little better why he always asks. He is only 12 years older than her, so it was like a sibling relationship that he remembers.

        Phil

        • jackwaddington says:

          Phil: I see the poignant line in your response:- ” if I don’t go to gatherings, there would be no opportunity to be close.” as the key.

          I personally don’t feel that going to these events creates closeness. If one is not already close,, then these events don’t make for more closeness. IMO

          Of course, in your case, it’s more than just yourself and as you stated your own kids made connections to cousins and other members of the wider family.

          So I see clearly that for you it’s not so black and white’

          Jack

  24. Margaret says:

    Jack,
    what makes you think we do not listen to my mom and try to find ways to respect her wishes and still keep her as safe as possible?
    she is not ’strapped to the bed’ as you put it.
    it feels unpleasant how you feel like having to make out as if you know better as usual.
    I should not try to explain this, but one big difference between you and her is that she has no memory of her fall and of having broken her arm. and when she could not walk still, only a few weeks ago, she did not remember and would have gotten up and fallen and broken a hip possibly.
    as soon as she was able to she was encouraged to start walking and moving around but you can’t let people with a case of dementia just do whatever comes up in their minds.
    in that case my mom would still get into her car and on the road, not only a risk to herself but to others.
    I am entirely pleased of how the nurses of the home deal with the actual situation and always check with me about every decision they take.
    they love and respect my mom and she feels it and is very cooperative and likes living there .
    your feelings about your own situation are valid of course, but well, your judgement about my mom’s situation felt somewhat hurtful.
    M

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: I am sorry if you felt my response was hurtful. I am not suggesting that you are not listening to her. Perhaps I’m suggesting that you might try asking her what she wants and then perhaps discussing with her whether or not it is a good idea.

      At the risk of coming across as defensive, I feel it is very important for doctors and the medical profession all the way down to nurses that they spend way more time, listening, rather than a desire to nail it all with a diagnosis. I am experiencing just this with the doctors and doctors assistant where I go for health care.

      I contend the greatness of Art Janov and Primal theory is that more listening and letting the patient come to their own subliminal conclusions, is the way to go. I feel it is a universal opinion that children need to be told how to live life … instead of letting them discover it for themselves. Hense neurosis abounds.

      I feel strongly that your mother’s potential desire to drive a car and be dangerous to herself and others is because of the repression that she got in her own childhood. It is more, as I see it, as a rebellious act, rather than a real deep need to be controlled from doing what she or anyone else, desires (deep down) what to do for themselves.

      Of course, these are just my feeling; and mine alone. If it was seen as me expressing my feelings I feel it would alleviate a lot of anger we have of other’s actions … towards us.

      If this sounds complex or convoluted I’m sorry again.

      Jack

  25. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: We are in the process of refurbishing the kitchen with another and went to a company that does all this. We decided on one of their units and another company, contracted by them, will come tomorrow to dismantle the present one.

    What we have both realized is the amount of preparation required, and has taken up the whole of this week to prepare for it.

    It turns out to be more than we bargained for and is causing both of a lot of anxiety about the process and whether, in the long run, it will be worth it. I’m coping with the anxiety better than Jim, but it further worries me that he’s not coping very well.
    He got a short jab of ‘a chest’ pain last night, and that has further worried me greatly.

    It seems like we are going to be without a kitchen from tomorrow (Wednesday) until next Tuesday when ostensibly it will all be complete. I am preparing a document as of now, for a check at each stage of the dismantling and replacing like:- water in the rest of our home, electricity, gas and wastewater outlets at both stages:- dismantling and then constructing.

    As time progressed our feeling of confidence in the company has waned somewhat.
    So! I’m letting it all out here and hope it helps.

    Jack

    • Phil says:

      Jack,
      I can relate to this. We had our kitchen remodeled a few years ago and it was unavailable for complete use for several months. I remember washing dishes in the bathtub and having everything in boxes in the living room. It was very disruptive. None of it went as smoothly as expected. I think this happens because contractors are more motivated to start new jobs than finishing the ones they already have. I’m not sure it was worth all the money and aggravation we went through, but my wife is happy and satisfied with it.

      Phil

      • jackwaddington says:

        Phil: Wow! I hope to fuck that is NOT what happens to us. It’s been a nightmare for both of us and in particular for Jim as he doesn’t have a way to cope like I have.

        However, stage one has been completed and the old unit is now out; so we are surviving these next 7 days by having stuff laid out on trays on stands and getting water from me the bathroom. Also while it is out, we’ve been able to get a plumber to fix intermediary faucets to the gas and water pipes, to install an electric outlet for the stove exit fan and for electrical ignition for the gas stove. that will connect to the new unit. Next Monday is the time they say thy will come and install it.

        We’ve also prepared cardboard over our wood floor and I have made a list of things to double-check before we let the worker’s walkout after installation. It requires a great deal of thinking and planning since to cancel the whole thing would have meant losing the deposit (the equivalent of $1,000.00).

        BUT as you say, for all the planning, things never go quite the way one hopes. Jim’s answer is:- “never again”, but who knows what is around the corner?

        Thanks Phil, for giving me the opportunity to let the blog know what going on in our ‘nick of the woods’.

        Jack

  26. Mary Zerebesky says:

    Hi
    I am looking for a place to live and was wondering if anyone knows of a room to rent, sublet
    or share apartment in La. Need soon. Please get in touch if you know of anything.
    Mary 424-672-5188, email yziryzir@icloud.com

  27. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: Since the blog seems to be quiet for a while, I thought to offer my ‘same old same old’ in the hope of stimulating some conversation on the subject. So here goes:-

    The interplay between nations is becoming a greater and greater complication due to so-called national interests which often go against personal interests and yet the process seems to be accelerating at a greater and greater pace.

    There is a madness to this whole process, along with global warming that is a sure sign that things cannot go on as they have been doing … yet no-one seems to be offering any form of a solution.

    I contend that very solution was thought up well over a century ago, but because of a lack of intent to implement it, (except one), it got ditched as ‘impractical’. Then that one got ditched for another reason. Thus we kept the madness going.

    Is it a case of “going down the very same rat hole and expecting a different result?” I say yes! … and I’ve suggested an alternative plan to do so …. not that my plan is the correct one, but merely by it being suggested,, others will proffer their own … based on the very same concept.

    Ah well! neurosis abounds and propagates itself over and over again.

    Jack

    • jackwaddington says:

      On another note:-
      The new kitchen is well on the way now, with the old one having been taken away and all the parts of the new one delivered, but piled up in the living area ready for assembly. I was originally scheduled for next Monday, the 9th, but we got a phone message to say now it will be Tuesday the 10th.

      The problem is making meals and washing dishes which along with most of the space being taken up with boxes of the new one makes life somewhat more difficult.

      It’s bothering both of us, but for me, it’s a case of where the fuck are things that we need and having to walk around all those boxes to get at anything. Chalet living means having minimal space. Then Thursday we got a plumber in to fix the water and drainage system in preparation, and this morning an electrician to fix a new outlet as requested but the company installing it.

      Is this all ‘an omen’ that it’s not going to work out? I sure hope not. Jim is losing sleep over it and I’m just so frustrated, and doing the best I can, to express it without causing a ‘spiral effect’.

      Jack

    • Phil says:

      Jack,
      The news is very discouraging. Here we have impeachment going on, and at the same time Trump and his associates are continuing with the very same behavior that prompted the investigation. And, there are so many other reasons for impeachment, but it most likely won’t remove him from office. Democracies are not working right, that’s clear to me. I’m in favor of a very weak president or prime minister, who would be unable to do so much damage. Capitalism is also a problem, and out of control, but I still don’t think your alternative plan is the right one. These are not new ideas for me, but I just thought to add that.
      Phil

      • jackwaddington says:

        Phil: thanks for your response. I agree in general on the point about Trump, and then UK Prime Minister is doing. For me that is a backward step in terms of where I see us, humans, going to start to see us as one species and to stop all this divisiveness, which inevitably brings about all the conflicts, wars and killings.

        On the other hand, it is one thing to see the problem, but it takes a different mindset IMO to figure out a possible solution. So far I see no-one actually looking at the bigger picture of humans as one species and figuring out a solution in terms of that bigger picture.

        I would appreciate any potential solution you yourself could proffer.

        Jack

        • Phil says:

          Jack,
          A quick response. I don’t have any good solutions in mind. I’m afraid that although we’re very intelligent, we are no different than other animals, in that we can’t go against our basic nature, which is to reproduce and pass on our genes. Over population is the basic problem, and on the whole, we are unable to have concern for other species and the environment.
          Another recent news story is about Germany’s decision to end nuclear power and the problem of what to do with the huge amount of accumulated nuclear waste which will be extremely toxic and dangerous for millions of years. Scientists who push nuclear power may be very smart, but are severely lacking in common sense.

          Phil

          • jackwaddington says:

            Phil: I totally agree with all you say in this last response.

            Maybe I need to look into why I am so pre-occupied with all this stuff about humanity. So far, I’ve not been able to come up with an answer.

            Jack

  28. Margaret says:

    Hi Mary,
    so good to hear from you. i had actually been wondering about you lately, hoping you had found a job back then, a few years ago. it seemed like a very hard situation you were in back then and I felt concerned about you.
    hope you find a good and affordable place to live in, you are such a fighter, having managed to stay in LA despite all the hassles.
    are you still working and do you have any option of some retirement income at some point?
    wish you all the very best and hope someone can give you a hand in finding what you need.
    Margaret

  29. Margaret says:

    I feel beat down and sad, kind of hopeless. part of the feeling is ‘no one would want me’.
    the weather is cold and grey, I was supposed to go tango dancing tomorrow but I can’t bring up the courage and energy.
    part of that is I discovered a water leak in my kitchen under the sink and it was literally like the drop making the bucket about to spill over.
    this weekend my brother won’t come over to visit our mom, which feels bad.
    partly it is about her, but when I imagine still having a car and being able to drive over there, it becomes more clear it is also about me being so sad and lonely.
    going to see her would in that regard be seeking some comfort without really feeling able to be entirely open with her or expecting real support of her about feeling so lonely and hopeless about ever finding a partner in life again with my disabilities, not to mention the old feeling of not being of interest or worthwhile.
    I know it is all the more reason to go dancing, but the water leak freaked me out at first, I did not really want to call the janitor as he does not like to be called in the evening or in the weekend.
    then over night I realized the problem was not as urgent as I had feared, the heater leaks slowly and with a few cloths I can keep it under control so far.
    I shared this with a girlfriend and she strongly advised me to take action, so I did text the janitor and he promised me to come by on Monday, which eased the tension.
    but still the feeling lingers and what could be a nice weekend of rest feels at the same time empty, even while I cooked, cleaned, put out the Xmas stuff, also on the front door, which i like.
    I am about to wrap up the actual course when I get the feedback for the corrections to make, and next week will get together with the teacher from the next statistics course to work on the software.
    a few busy weeks ahead, which is good, but still the hopeless feeling has me in its grip right now.
    or sadness and fear whatever, it is paralyzing and prevents me from going out to dance tomorrow.
    it is harder than usual as it is in a new place unfamiliar to me, and I need to get there on my own terms which makes it a bigger challenge still as it is in some kind of warehouse neighborhood, not that easy to find possibly.
    but those are merely excuses together with the water leak in my kitchen to stay home.
    will have to sit it out I guess, I canceled but added my new year’s resolution will be to go dancing next month.
    also one of my cats seemed ill yesterday, so i did plan a visit to the vet in 8 days when I will have someone help me to get there.
    feel bad about my mom not having a visit for seven days, but part of it is me projecting my feelings on her, while probably our feelings are quite similar some of the time, feeling lonely and sad and scared…
    will just give myself a break for now, maybe the feeling will come to the surface in one of my dreams soon…
    feel too overwhelmed with dealing with it all to have access, or to want access maybe.
    what I want is rest and peace of mind and if it would seem possible, some happiness ha, but all I can do right now is moan a bit like this message.
    maybe it will resonate most with Larry, who has been in similar situations of knowing going out to dance would be the best thing to do while still not feeling able to do so on the same moment….
    M

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: I truly sympathize with your current situation and hope things will turn out for the better.

      However, I feel confident that you are doing the right thing by stating it all on the blog here. For someone with your disability with sight, it is remarkable that you are able to write and read on this blog. I also think it shows great resilience in you

      All the very best and hope the leak is not too great of a problem for you to at least survive it, until Monday.

      Jack

    • Larry says:

      There are a number of things currently that if I did them I would probably feel better, even just doing the dishes piling up in the sink. It’s occurring to me that a big feeling reason why I hesitate is because if I did what I think I should to take care of myself and feel better, I would find out holy smoke, there is only me to take care of me. I think that right now I’m in a dull hole of hesitation, wanting someone to do things for me and take care of me. I don’t want to find out there is only me to do it for me, even if accomplishing what I need to do would be better for me. I am getting into a depressing slump. Part of the reason is due to a cold that has lingered more than a month, but I think another part of the reason is that I’m a terrified little boy who doesn’t want to see that there is only me to take care of me. I’ve succumbed to a kind of frozen state of feeling unable to change, which I know is fear of change. Just having to make a living made me have to overcome my fear and make big changes in my life. I don’t have to make a living now and so there isn’t that impetus driving me to make change that I’m afraid of. I find that making a meaningful retirement requires quite a bit of self-discipline, and courage, that I feel short of recently.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: That is an interesting insight in that post and why you were and still are, to some extent, indecisive.

        I personally discovered my things about me that I did not like, and were not serving me well. Having done that first part I now needed to figure out a way to change it for myself. That I found was the hard part, now I have to face that hard part head-on. Otherwise, I am left suffering from old unexpressed feelings.

        I’m lucky in that I have a partner to share it with. Thanks for putting this forward as I need this blog to keep me as straight as I can be … but it does require effort.

        Jack

        • Larry says:

          That’s heart warming to hear Jack, surprising even. You’ve always told us you need this blog for the sake of blogging.

          • jackwaddington says:

            Larry: That was one reason … there are actually many reasons why I love blogging and in particular this blog.

            Jack

  30. Phil says:

    Margaret,
    I hope you can go dancing, I’m sure that would be fun, and help brighten your mood, and that you do well with that course.
    Phil

  31. Phil says:

    Here we are still struggling with the effects of the argument we had in front of our friends some weeks ago. I felt done with it fairly soon by my wife is still clearly upset about it. We both
    have the problem of letting things drag on when we are upset. She has said she doesn’t trust me now, and that makes me feel abandoned and punished, like I’m serving time.

    Phil

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: From the distance, I see that the problem with you and your wife is something I can well relate to, as being something you have to deal with yourself first, without it involving your wife. Leastways that was the way I had to do it.

      Granted; in these types of relationships, it seems only logical that it has to be a two-some resolution. I struggled with that one for sometime before seeing the only way out was to explore what it was about me that seemed to exacerbate the problem, knowing that Jim will be Jim and there’s no way I can change him … but I am able, if I put my energy into it, to change myself.

      I hope this does not offend you and that it might be helpful.

      Jack

      • Phil says:

        Jack,
        I think I probably do need to address it to my wife some more as it involves the two of us. Maybe I’ll try to do that this weekend.
        On a different note, I went out to yoga class, which was really good and I need to do that more often.
        On the way back in my car I had some feelings about my father, similar to some deeper ones I had the other day. Really about how much I loved him, and didn’t treat him so well, and I have a lot of sadness about that. I’m just having more clarity that he wasn’t perfect, but was the only person I could really count on as a child, all I really had.
        Phil

  32. Margaret says:

    the water leak is stopped for the moment hurray!
    it took Gregor and Pjotr 3 hours of searching and unmantling chests and water heating system in vain, to then move on to the roof and the little chimney of the heating system to detect where the water was coming from.
    a lot of stress as the heating and water was out of order in the meantime and I worried about it not being solved.
    but although my bathroom and kitchen ended up kind of messy and they had to come back the next day to put a little roof over the chimney, all worked again when they left.
    the visit to my mom was nice too, the whole nursing home was decorated for xmas and there was a Xmas market and nice things to eat and drink.
    it was all the more nice when we discovered they sold handmade ponchos there for only 6 Euro a piece, exactly what my mom needed to wear over her broken arm and hurting shoulder!
    so now she has three ponchos and one coming up soon.
    also very nice was an unexpected meeting in the cafeteria with a long lost friend.
    he was there with his family and reached out to me asking if I was Margaret, my mom’s daughter?
    it turned out to be one of the two little boys with which we used to play when I must have been 6 to 9 years old, friends of my brother initially as they lived in our street.
    I always cherished the memories of being allowed to come along to play football with the three of them, me in the goal as I was the littlest and had no say in the matter.
    I specially liked the younger brother who has died in a car accident sadly enough 20 years ago.
    but styill it was such a nice, warm encounter with that little boy of my childhood now well in his sixties, after not having been in touch for more than 50 years and both liking it a lot to run into each other.
    it was one of those nice surprises that life sometimes offers, and for some reason very uplifting as most surprises are like the water leak, not that pleasant…
    M

  33. Larry says:

    I was thinking I’m not going to bother with sending Xmas cards anymore. Yesterday I received from a friend my first Xmas card of the season, and felt how fortunate I am to have friends who care to send me Xmas cards. After crying primals this morning about how life veered far from optimum for me very early on, sinking into current and very early kid feelings that “I don’t want to live with my truth” because it is so bleak, and crying unfathomable sadness that it’s taken me more than 6 decades of wasted struggle to finally begin to let go and accept that I will never know the feeling of being seen, held, and cared for by loving parents, ever.. from the beginning of my life.. to the present .. and into whatever future I have left … I now sit down to write Xmas cards to friends who I feel fortunate to have.

    With that feeling of the truth of how bleak things have been, I wish to share this medieval music expressing our eternal hope at this time of year for sucour:

    • jackwaddington says:

      Larry: I’ve had the same feeling about Christmas cards, but I decided for the sake of those I am sending them to I decided to do so and am sending out 12. Mainly family but a couple of others,

      Jack

      • David says:

        I can’t compromise. I can think of many comparison’s, but, succinctly, I cannot embrace a weapon, christianity, used to annihilate and suppress my First Nations family, past and current.

  34. jackwaddington says:

    Hi Everyone: Finally, after almost a week without a kitchen we now have the new one installed and so far so good. I like it more than Jim does, but we’ve had some consternation as to where certain things should go, after agreeing before it got constructed, as to which things in which cupboards, etc.

    So! Margaret, I am glad you got your leak sorted out, and it related to me, the mess we were in for almost one week. Well! I suppose that is the way things “crumble”.

    Jack

  35. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: I feel so bad about the UK election and though I am biased since while we were in the EU I was able to use the UK NHS for my health care. Now I will have to buy a separate insurance here in the Netherland when the UK leaves.

    That said I also feel that it is a backward step in terms of where the world is going and I felt that the Johnson campaign did the same as Trump in that it was more spin than fact. From my history classes at school, it all makes sense, but I feel the Brits are hanging onto something that has long since gone.

    I also get the sense, that Trump is doing much the same with lies making it appear to be spin, and painting a picture that is no longer practical, let alone reasonable.

    Where this leaves me:- is feeling somewhat down, and has been like that for me for most of the day. It all convinces me more than ever that what we term as democracy is a system of winners and losers, and I tend to feel this is becoming more obvious due to social media and easy access to it all. Thus I see the division as being more prominent and more bitter.

    There’s gotta be another way … a way that is a win-win.

    Jack

    • Phil says:

      Jack,
      I have been following Brexit and the UK elections and also find it a disappointing result. I think the Labor party might have been outmaneuvered and had an unpopular leader. They should have taken a strong remain position from the time the question first came up. On this most important question they were equivocal. I hope this isn’t a sign that Donald Trump will be reelected.

      Phil

      • jackwaddington says:

        Phil: Yep! it has a deleterious effect and I feel it a characteristic of the Brits to want to keep all their traditions … but I contend are not serving them or the country well.

        Of course, as I see it, it’s going to take the young of the next generation, yet to be born that I contend will see what all this governing is doing to us as people. It’s much the same in the US but more critical. There are other countries also jumping on the same bandwagon.

        My feeling … and mine alone, seemingly, That Primal Theory showed us where the problem lies. Now we need to find a way to implement it.

        Jack

  36. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: After my almost 40 years of therapy and currently seeing the news via social media and TV, I have come to the revelation, and a lot of reflection, that as a baby until my third year, I was not ever, aware of any sense of the following:-
    1) A sense of a deity or a super being.
    2) A sense of belonging to any culture.
    3) A sense of belonging to any nationality.
    4) A sense there was any monetary value to anything
    5) A sense of any rules
    6) A sense of rule-makers (governments, religious leaders, and all other authorities)
    7) A sense of right and/or wrong
    8) A sense of any need of competitiveness,

    It was only AFTER encountering the trauma though my parents, that I began to have some sense of the above mention factors, Especially after being sent to bed before I/we were ready and I/we just wanted to romp and play; then being punished by my father by spanking.

    Slowly I began to form opinions based on these now subliminal traumas. I began, as I now see it, to be driven from my natural self, and feeling the need to go along with the rules that were being set for me, first by my parents, and later on, going to school.

    Now I feel I am able to see the world, the news, TV, social media and the rest of mankind in a similar situation, particularly with respect to politics. All the arguments for both sides of the political spectrum, that people are arguing their own subliminal traumas. It’s a sort of ‘going nowhere fast’

    In conclusion for me, it’s trauma creating neurosis.

    Jack

    • Phil says:

      Margaret,

      Plukkie looks very contented there in front of the Christmas tree, like he’s enjoying the holiday season.

      Phil

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margret: I personally have a problem with wishing either “Merry Christmas” OR “Happy Christmas”. I just say now “Christmas greetings” and leave it at that.

      Like:- for one day to be happy or Merry (presumably drunk), so! that you can be miserable for the rest of the year.

      As I see it, it, it’s something for children, because, for them, many have a terrible childhood, so we attempt to fool them with presents; or fairy tales where it’s “Happy ever after” BUT depriving them of what they really need:- TO BE LOVED.

      Jack

    • Larry says:

      Margaret, I wish you and all participants who keep this blog going a safe and happy Christmas with loved ones nearby.

      Is that a picture of your cat? How did you manage to post it on the blog?

  37. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    Plukkie and his brother Pluche are very helpful in adding smiles to my life and by being natural and healthy tranquilizers gladly offering me their silky fur to caress and responding with the very soothing sound of their purring.
    I am doing OK, coping with a lot of problems to solve, took the cats to the vet on Monday, very stressful as to get them into the travel cages in time for the appointment and the ride there, but luckily they are in fine shape.
    supporting my mom in dealing with her broken upper arm and the restrictions that causes, but she is a good fighter with an easy smile and so far things go fairly well.
    today I went to the university to deal with some practical problems with the current and next courses, which take effort and energy but are not ‘insurmountable’ with the assistance of my study mentor.
    a lot of statistics ahead, but also a new course called ‘androzoology’, a course about the history of humans and the contact with animals, the therapeutic value of contact with animals and more , a course which is appealing to me as you may guess.
    I will spend Xmas day with friends and the next day will visit my mom with my sister, and Sunday with my brother and his wife.
    so I manage to cope with the challenges each day brings as they rise, sometimes with painful effort, sometimes fairly easily.
    I find it does build up my self confidence though even while at times I have to overcome fear and discouraged feelings, maybe just because of that the process ends up being strengthening. but also exhausting at times of course.

    and you, Phil, how come Plukkie seems to be feeling better than you do?
    M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret,
      Well, I think Plukkie isn’t married for one thing. The state of the union here is pretty bad since we had an argument over a month ago.
      Besides that problem going on it’s been triggering old stuff, about my mother. This morning I had some related feelings, remembering how it was to see all my friends had mothers, but I didn’t, and which of those mothers seemed to be nice and caring. Plukkie, I’m sure, had a mother too, who probably did whatever cat mothers are supposed to do. I think my mother gave me little of what I needed for the short time I had her.

      Phil

  38. Margaret says:

    Larry,
    yes, this is one of my cats, Plukkie, his twin brother looks 99 percent the same, colourwise, but is more slender, his name is Pluche.
    and Phil was as always so nice to help me post it all here.
    it was funny as I first saw Pluche on the kitchen table close to the tiny Xmas tree, and used a few cat snacks to get him well situated in front of the tree for some pictures. one of them is ok, his head close up and the tip of the tree showing between his ears. he looks straight into the camera but he is a little fuzzy.
    his brother though suddenly appeared right in front of the tree all by himself a little later, behaving like a real model.
    no snacks needed for him! a real pro although in the picture he seems to pretend to be a little shy.
    with the Iphone I can make out general aspects while taking a picture, but some details have to be pointed out to me by friends, well, sometimes not really details, it depends of the shapes and contrasts how much I can distinguish.
    but it feels very good to be able to make some pictures of them, and even videos while they drink at the bath tab which are very funny. one of them, plukkie, used to sit by the running water as a young cat putting in turns his front paws under the water to use them then to wash his face and ears. more efficient than licking, and looking very ‘human’, haha.
    as I say, all of my cats brighten(ed) up my life big time.
    and their trust and affection feels healing in many ways.
    https://dm2304files.storage.live.com/y4pEuy0YlpXK7qi82dj0BgaZCfr9VfgDATZsOb03j43rYUf4j3evKg3xP6fOuSVBp_JHp9fFi2xG-7vAsrLY63BEm0bC8eC3cLDlupwh39U_6kQ1UZx0L9VVnt4OVLGYn6El7CEskxhJ07KnwPb6MS8nZ-oEjzuSnKsqSXpElhW60tnz6ZNr8ZWqKymi2dKtRdeyo-v6l8T6b2WP5O_XckwZwFykqVsuplzJQcnfAfw7H4/PHOTO-2019-12-18-12-54-47.jpg?psid=1&width=463&height=617

    M

  39. jackwaddington says:

    I went to see a doctor at a local clinic here, about a boil I have on my bum and it tuned out that all I needed was a cream to draw it out, but it’s taking a lot longer time than any I had before. The discomfort of just sitting is:- the main problem.

    I feel very happy that I have a partner who is helping all he can (his way and not necessarily my way) Still!! I do appreciate the help he offers. What most worries me now, on almost a daily basis is how would I cope if he died on me.

    It’s very hard to ignore, and also; to just accept the moment whilst it all lasts.
    I do relate to most of what others express on this blog recently:- Margaret, Larry and Phil.

    Furthermore, watching TV and social media on my lap-top also pains me since I am more and more convinced that politics and governments don’t cut it. Not only in the US with the Impeachment, but in the UK with Brexit. Then, of course, there are all the protest taking place around the globe. There gotta be a meaning, and way beyond it, but so far I don’t see the current young generation see a way to fix it. I just hope that my prediction:- that it will be the very next generation not yet born.

    “Sorry”, to you guys that get irritated by my pressing this point.

    Seasonal greetings for all that read this blog. Jack

      • jackwaddington says:

        Phil: There’s nothing ‘MERRY’ about impeachments unless you too think most are drunken fools … It is merely a show showing the dysfunctionality of government/s,

        As I understand it the “merry” was put into the Chrismas greeting, to suggest it was a time to drink yourself stupid while the kids played with their new toys.

        Just my take. Jack

        • Phil says:

          Jack,
          I see merry as a synonym for happy, no matter the origin of the word. Trump’s impeachment, for me, is a happy occasion, a good feeling, it needed to be done. You seem sometimes to over analyze. I’m assuming you’re pleased with impeachment as well, although as we know, it isn’t enough.
          Phil.

          • jackwaddington says:

            Phil: On the immediate scale of things; I do not like Trump and I fear the effect he might have on the world. So yes I like that he’s being impeached, but sadly perhaps not removed.

            On a larger scale, I see it as an overall demonstration that for us humans things are amiss.
            So much so that I feel strongly that something on a larger scale, than “just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” as t’were.

            So much of our general discourse is seemingly always on the small scale of things, hoping there is a fix in there somewhere. Well!!! we’ve been at this ‘small scale’ for eons … and things, in general, remain the same,

            Looking at it on reflection things are really much the same. If it’s not a king it’s a dictator, or maybe President, or the Priest, or Pope or some such religious leader, or simply on some God or other.

            I contend we need to broaden the outlook.

            Jack

    • David says:

      I can commiserate , Jack, it’s a pain in the ass….. After acquiescing to taking an antiviral drug for, ” Shingles lesion,” on mine butt, with no benefit after a month; in desperation I turned to my Bear Fat and Juniper, grease. 2 days, effect noticed, 7 days healed. RELIEF.

  40. Sylvia says:

    Ho, ho to you, Phil, Nancy Pelosi is playing Santa by giving us the present of impeachment. Jack, the website Margaret put up I could not access either, it said there was an error. Even so, I did appreciate the picture of Plukkie. Thank you Margaret and Merry Christmas to you and all here. What do you know, Belgian cats look just like American cats.

    • Phil says:

      Sylvia,
      This was one gift I was hoping for, but I really want the second part completed too, and as soon as possible.
      Phil

    • Barry says:

      Yeah, but Belgian purrs are SO European. Now dogs, on the other hand, have only one language, he said, whilst lobbying the ball back into Sylvia and Margaret’s court (if you’ll pardon the pun), and that is,”Love!”

      ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy New Year’, and ‘God bless all here’, as we say in County Down.
      Barry M

  41. Margaret says:

    Sylvia, how did you manage to see the picture then?
    I sent it with What’s ap to Phil, so I did not set up any website really.
    I tried clicking on the link in the comment myself out of curiosity and went to a microsoft site asking me to accept their cookies which I did not feel like as well, I have the picture on my own phone in its original form isn’t it?
    Too bad pictures can’t appear on the blog directly, at least I never discern them in any way.
    Phil, it is sad you had to miss out on so much and I wish your wife would communicate more in a way that dissolves the tension.
    actually Plukkie was tiny in comparison to his siblings at first, and had pneumoniaa on top of it.
    I notice he regards me as his mommy now and in that way needs more cuddlinbg and comforting than his more independent but also sweet and affectionate brother.
    sometimes when I gently stroke Plukkie, he gives tiny moaning sounds while also purring, which seem like a way some of his old pain finds a way to leave his systemm.
    I am glad I adopted him as well as the little sickly ‘small one’ of the bunch besides his active ‘bigger’ brother, ha, and now ‘little’ Plukkie is almost two times as big as Pluche.
    they get along very well and they are both adorable in their different ways.
    ho ho ho meow meow purho, purry Xmas all

    • Sylvia says:

      Margaret, I saw your first post with the kitty picture, but then there was the later post to Larry that had an address that was very long and that said it was an error when I clicked it. I thought it was a picture of something else. Then Phil re-posted that address and it was the original picture of Plukkie. It all worked out. Your Plukkie looks like my cats, the 2 1/2 year old ones. Pinky has similar markings to your kitties. When she was little her nose was a pale pink of a morning and I thought maybe she was unwell, but the color grew deeper pink as the day wore on and then I knew she was all right. She is very cuddly and affectionate. Her sister Oreo is more independent and less afraid of someone visiting. Their 2 siblings are still half wild but i can pet the brother, but not the sister. They were raised by the mama cat. She and the papa cat are a little friendly.

      Phil, you know the republicans will all stick together and not convict. I can’t believe how they lie to themselves about what happened with Ukraine.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Sylvia: you wrote:-“Phil, you know the republicans will all stick together and not convict. I can’t believe how they lie to themselves about what happened with Ukraine.”

        As I see it all, the only real solution is:- to abandon the idea that we need to be governed. Democracy, as I have said before, is a situation of ‘winners & losers’.

        We need a “win-win” situation and it is out there and been there for over 150 years.

        I predict the next generation (yet to be born) will see it and demand it and will eventually get it to happen.

        Jack

  42. Leslie says:

    A Christmas song for you Jack!

    Leslie

    • jackwaddington says:

      Leslie: I wrote extensively in response mainly to Renee, in the article before this one (2) and yes, for me, it is Lennon’s best.

      Whether Lennon was an anarchist by design or admission is a moot point, but in my opinion, if it does come about; it will save this beautiful planet (our one and only home) as otherwise, I see the demise and extinction of the homo sapien and perhaps the rest of life on this planet.

      Yes, I will accept it as my Christmas song.

      Jack

      • FRED says:

        January 14, 2020

        Check out Elton John’s paean to John Lennon if you’ve not heard it. Lennon was shot in New York City December 8, 1980 but Elton John’s song wasn’t released until spring 1982. It’s much better than Paul’s. It is called “Empty Garden”.

        I think I posted this story early on in 2018 but it bears repeating. In June 2001 I finished reading “Therapy Gone Mad” about the Center for Feeling Therapy in LA. That center had broken off from the Primal Institute in 1971 or early 1972 and set up business on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. A Primal Therapist told me in person in 1972 that “they are doing the same thing we are doing here”. This was directly outside the Primal Institute when it was located on Almont Drive in West Hollywood (then an unincorporated area).

        Well, something went terribly wrong. They began to veer further and further away from Janov’s concepts. Long story short it became a cult. I HIGHLY recommend the book: “Therapy Gone Mad” by Carol Lynn Mithers. It is RIVETING.

        When I finished reading it in June 2001, I went into a primal. Not immediately. I got in my little Honda CRX and drove over to the neighborhoods mentioned in the book (above Sunset, east of the Ralphs store there in the west side of Hollywood). The song “Empty Garden” was playing on my car stereo. I played it over and over again as I drove the two miles to the area where the compound for the Center for Feeling Therapy was located. I found it easily enough.

        I pulled over and wailed! I wept for my generation and the (lost) dreams we had, especially the primal pioneers. I cried SO hard.

        On that trip in 1972 when I spoke with the Primal Therapist (was his name “Bernie”?), I and the two people with me also visited the Center for Feeling Therapy. They SEEMED okay at the time. They were at 1017 S. La Brea. Obviously, they changed. Someone in LA told me on the phone in 1976 that they were getting “militaristic”.

        I had two friends in Norman, OK who were bound and determined to go to the Center for Feeling Therapy. I told them of this phone conversation but they were unphased. They followed up on their “threat”, if you will. They found out, first hand, although they came in towards the end, 1978. They did however, join the class action lawsuit and got all their money back.

        I believe the egregious practices of the Center for Feeling Therapy, a virtual cult, that led to lawsuits; ironically on Election Night, the very night Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan; led to the California legislature passing strict new laws governing who could practice psychological therapy. Previously, they were very lax. This was probably overall a good development.

        To me, the book is a MUST read for anyone interested in Primal Therapy.

        A few years later the author Carol Mithers, did a magazine article on Janov and Primal Therapy. I believe it appeared in Buzz Magazine (now defunct). I have it if you want it. I can make xerographic copies.

        FRED

    • FRED says:

      January 14, 2020

      to Leslie on “Imagine”

      John was such a unique soul. A musical genius but much sadness in childhood. There will never be a generation of songwriters like the one that included Lennon, McCartney, Jagger, Richard, Moody Blues, Bob Dylan, Graham Nash, Cat Stevens, John Fogerty, etc. It’s OVER.

      Who knows where we’re headed? Lennon stated “The world may not have many years”. Not that Lennon is my guru but I understand the concept.

      I think the great Songwriting Era, in our terms, began circa 1920 or so, with the development of recorded music and the phonograph. Indeed, the “right” persons appeared at the “right” time in our social denouement.

      However, for me having been born in 1949 and “coming of age” in the 1960s, the heavy action began in the 1950s. Buddy Holly MUST be placed at the forefront because, unlike say, Elvis; he WROTE or co-wrote many of his songs. This is not a knock on Elvis. He is beyond great.

      There are so many “fortuitous” developments in life. One was the fact that Buddy Holly left behind undoubtedly his best songwriting on an Ampex reel-to-reel tape recorder, not discovered until after his death.

      These songs put Buddy Holly in an entirely different level. He moved from being just a pioneer to an avatar, if you will. The songs discovered (on the “Apartment Tapes”) include “Peggy Sue Got Married”, “Crying, Waiting, Hoping”, “Learning the Game”, “What to Do” and “Dearest”.

      The first two are his best songs, period. “Crying Waiting Hoping” is my favorite non-Beatle song of all time. The “Apartment Tapes” were recorded by Holly in December 1958, not long before he would head out on his last bus tour which would end with his death in Clear Lake, IA, February 3,1959.

      The tapes were discovered posthumously by his widow and two versions of the (at least) five songs were released. The first was in 1961 on an extended-play 45 with the Picks doing dubbed-in background vocals and I THINK the Crickets playing. The second release was in 1963 with the Fireballs over-dubbed. The Fireballs would have a hit in 1964 with “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmore & the Fireballs, recorded at same studio in Clovis, NM where Buddy Holly & the Crickets got started.

      Remember this also. John Lennon gave the Beatles their final name “The Beatles” in a kind of homage to “The Crickets”. Graham Nash & Alan Clarke did the Beatles one better. They named their Manchester-based British rock group after Buddy Holly himself: “The Hollies” The Beatles recorded “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” live on the BBC and a CD is available. Unfortunately, George is given the vocals when John would have been a much better choice.

      The Beatles also included Holly’s “Words of Love” on their 1965 album (in America) “Beatles VI”.

      Also, I have thought for years that Paul McCartney’s “For No One” was inspired by Holly’s “Playing the Game”. Check out the two songs. The theme is identical.

  43. Leslie says:

    And “The Cat Carol” for Margaret & Sylvia!

    L

  44. Jo says:

    Thanks for Imagine Leslie…great to hear it again

  45. Jo says:

    Happy Holiday everyone 🎄and Healthy New Year! 🌞

  46. Phil says:

    Happy Holiday Jo!
    Thanks for the Christmas songs Leslie.
    Here’s another one you might like:

    • Leslie says:

      I definitely do like Phil – thanx! Hope you and your family enjoy your holidays!
      We will have both of our sons home for Christmas this year – which thrills me – hence not sleeping!!
      L

  47. Margaret says:

    Leslie,
    as often is the case I could not find the link in your comment to the cat carol, which I regret.
    often when someone replies to a mail with such a link, it does become visible in the part that shows above the reply comment of the writer.
    maybe it is also due to getting the comments by mail, that some links do not appear, no idea.
    happy xmas to all, which of course does not mean the other days will hopefully be mostly happy as well.
    I agree with Phil, Jack, you make life more complicated than useful sometimes. a happy new year is just a happy new year’s wish, as is happy birthday etc,, an expression of friendly goodwill.
    if you go all the way with your interpretation, Jack, we cannot say good morning either, what about the afternoon then? that makes no sense to me, but well, it is not all that important is it?
    M

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: To me, it is important, as I need to be honest with myself and stop trotting out cliches as if it is generally understood, when, as I see it; It’s the cause of so much misunderstanding.

      |I don’t wish anyone happiness since in primal terms ‘happiness is not pursuable IMO and can never be a single constate state of being. I wish some people to pursue the route of being feeling full.

      So greeting/s are my way, and it is not stressful for me. I have also moved away from “Good morning” and just say “mornin” or some time now “dag”.

      Jack

    • Leslie says:

      If you want to Margaret you could google ‘The Cat Carol’ to find it.
      Otherwise, google youtube music – The Cat Carol.
      I do realize your system is different & this may not be possible.
      Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Margaret!
      L

  48. Margaret says:

    Leslie,
    by Sylvia’s reply to you the link showed up and I just listened to the cat carol.
    actually tears are still running over my face.
    I was already crying from the start, triggered by the loneliness of the cat and mouse and the gentleness of the cat.
    then on top of that the sadness of the loss and terrible permanence of death came on top of it. I was hoping Santa would bring her back to life, in vain.
    so this song really triggered me as these days I feel pretty lonely as well, feeling the cats ‘save’ me while I also try to protect them…
    Sylvia, all the best to you and your furry bunch as well, xxxmas, M

  49. Margaret says:

    Thank you Larry,
    actually I will have to wait until xmas day when I go to friends for a nice dinner, it is always cosy there, they are great cooks and invite just a few also pleasant people.
    the next day I go to visit my mom with my halfsister.
    today I did give my mom a call, called the ward and they passed on the phone to her.
    it was heartwarming she sounded so pleased when they told her it was me on the phone for her.
    i will call her again tomorrow as it feels hard to have 8 days between visits this week.
    but calling helped a lot.
    here at home I did my best to use xmas lighting to cheer up the place, works well in these dark days, and hurray, from today on the days will get longer again!
    I cooked and made extra fish as a treat for the cats, considered opening up a bottle of Spanish bubbles but decided not to as I don’t like having a drink alone.
    luckily I have some nice audio books and having the cries triggered by the cat carol helped as well.
    a bit after the first cry I had another, just about ‘no no no no!’ generally relating to death and loss, evolving into desperate sadness about it being so painful and definite.
    a peaceful death in company of loved ones seems so much more acceptable than a lonely unhappy or even scared death.
    the cat’s dying in the song felt so unacceptable somehow, but now I can maybe find some consolation that the cat actually was not all alone, but had the mouse to take care of and protect.
    boy, getting teary again, guess I feel like the cat with my cats being the mouse, if that makes sense.

    I was thinking about you, Larry, I know you said you don’t want a pet as you feel it would be an excuse not to socialize, and then I imagined you with for example one of these beautiful huskies and having to make long walks with it, which would bring another kind of socializing, as people, specially dog lovers, like to stop for a chat and a pet.
    but probably it was merely me projecting and trying to resolve pain and loneliness…
    thanks for the wishes , I keep hoping to find some nice company for (some of) the years to come. it might not happen, but then again you never know, and the hope feels like it keeps me open towards opportunities.
    ope you will have some warm company as well during these dark weeks where loneliness comes more to the surface with all the festivities and longing for warmth and comfort for our weary souls…
    M

  50. Larry says:

    I should perhaps talk a little about the other, not so lonely side of my life. I write here mainly when it might help me to flesh out a feeling on the rise in me, so I mostly write about the devastating aloneness that I’ve been running from for at least as far back as I have conscious memory. I have to keep pushing forward to make something out of my life despite the aloneness, When I do so, …go against the grain of my fear and emptiness, is usually when I break down/open and the feeling breaks out. By pushing forward and reaching deeper, my life is becoming fuller and richer.

    I’m on a small environmental committee in our Unitarian congregation. There are 5 other people on the committee, all like me in having a concern for the natural environment. For the past two years I’ve been the chairperson of the committee. I’m not the boss of anyone. They are a group of interesting, capable individuals who comprise a dynamic committee. Yet I’m discovering/feeling that as chair I really am accomplishing a leadership function. It feels like having a primal sensibility and insight into people and interest in them seems to help foster a safe inviting atmosphere where people want to participate and give their best according to their interest and energy. I think our committee is one of the most interesting and dynamic in the congregation. Recently I felt the weight of responsibility of being the chair and decided I couldn’t go on and would resign as chair. But I had a primal, and continue on as chair because it is such a stimulating, rewarding learning experience on this committee.

    Through the activities of our committee and other ways that I volunteer or participate in other activities, I’m getting to know new and interesting people and growing deeper relationships with those who I know. The rift that tore the congregation apart almost 2 years ago has brought me closer to a lot of folks in the congregation, because they respect how I remained stable and present and tried to talk to and understand the individuals involved in the rift rather than take sides like almost everyone else did. That rift shattered me because it felt like I was losing my family. It brought up a lot of feelings. I used to think I was invisible to people. Now I’m realizing that they see me as a kind of leader, and that I’m helping the community to heal just by my presence and manner. I’m losing my invisibility, showing more who I am, and becoming closer to and respected by people. It is gratifying and scary because it requires I not run from being me.

    Two separate families invited me to spend Christmas day with them if I don’t travel to spend it with my relatives. A single mother and friend invited me to join her to see a live Christmas bells performance last Friday. Two other friends my age, a married couple, invited me to see a play with them last Sunday afternoon. On Sunday evening all four of us enjoyed dinner and socializing at the married couples home. His aged mother died a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to find out that I was his closest friend. A new friend my age who I met through our committees activities invited me to her house party last Sunday evening. She is a painter. Her guests were musicians, painters, singer song writers, and a forester. It was a really interesting group of people and I quite enjoyed the evening. She told me she does them once a month in the winter and will put me on the list of guests to invite to her future parties. Recently she invited me to a small outing with some of her friends. I find her interesting. Last Saturday I enjoyed a pre-Christmas get together and meal at a restaurant with about 40 other people from a singles group I meet with sometimes. I’m feeling more and more comfortable in this group, seeing beyond their facade up front and relating more and more to them as flawed human beings who I’m getting to like and understand. On New Year’s eve I will get together with single friends from the congregation at one their homes, for treats and socializing. I look forward to it not just as a device to not be alone, but because I actually look forward to their company. (I think I will be the only male amongst 10 or so lady friends).

    A big change that I recently notice in me is that I am more confident socially can enjoy the company of people a lot better that I used to be able to. I used to always feel extremely unworthy socially and desperately needed constant reassurance that I belonged in whatever social event I was participating in. More lately though I understand that I will never belong to parents who will hold and love me, and that I am starkly alone. It doesn’t mean that I’m unworthy though. I’m realizing that I am a person that people like to be with and it is an upset, in a nice way, of how I used to feel how people felt about me. I erect fewer walls and instead let people in more for who they are. I’m noticing in a way that I didn’t before, that all of my friends are flawed, that they all harbour some kind of pain that cripples them in some way, that they are trapped in. I feel sad that they can’t work through their pain like I can, being that they aren’t getting primal therapy.

    Take every advantage that you can to progress through this therapy. Very, very, very very few people get the opportunity to.

    I hope you all are able to enjoy some time with friends and family in the days ahead.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Larry: You wrote:- “… band understand the individuals involved in the rift rather than take sides like almost everyone else did.”. That sounds like a great insight and one that I had about ‘conflict’ between people.

      We miss so much IMO if we are not able to see how and perhaps why others tick. It’s all part of a grander scale for me, in that I find co-operating with others, way more fascinating and joyous than ‘competition’, which at best, gives a short moment of gratification about winning, or the opposite, feeling bad about losing.

      Good to read about your chairmanship also. It seems to me you enjoy ‘congregating’ the most gratifying.

      Jack

    • Phil says:

      Larry,
      It does sound like you have a lot of good things going on, despite the struggles you sometimes report.
      Phil

  51. jackwaddington says:

    Everyone: There is something going on in the world that is bothering me and I feel more and more people are getting very concerned about it also. With protest in many counties and governments clinging desperately onto power, through policies that apparently appeal to their base, mostly from slogan demanding more military spending to protect them from invasion, where, for the most part, they are not being threatened.

    Then the assumption that- ‘to have faith’ among many people especially the young who see religion as just another form of authority, based on scriptures supposedly sacred, but actually written by fellow neurotics (sinners in the case of Christian).

    The Evangelical magazine started by Billy Graham is now calling Trump to be immoral. Yet those evangelical voters are not lining up with the calls of that Magazine. Something is going on in the minds of many people, hoping desperately there is some solution and as a consequence swinging from right to left and then back again from left to right: political ideologies.

    Why this troubles me is because I see danger ahead and not too far into the future. There’s Global warming, There’s Brexit that will affect me greatly, and then there’s Trump, who, if he gets re-selected, will feel he’s got ‘carte blanche’ to do what he feels like doing … and the rest of us ‘be damned’, and that includes others in different countries.

    Then there are the new Nobel economic winners (man and wife) working on eliminating poverty when the very exchange system (economics) is the very cause of that poverty. Yet they don’t see that way. It is very core of economics that is causing it

    All these protests I see as a subliminal responses to old pain. Yet Primal theory is not being promoted.
    Maybe it’s just me …………..

    Jack

  52. Margaret says:

    Larry,
    thanks for sharing this side of your life with us as well.
    it is inspiring how you kept making your social circle bigger and better and how you are able more and more to enjoy it.
    M

    • Larry says:

      Thank you Margaret. I feel that, from pretty much the beginning of my life, circumstances robbed me of the fuller life I should have had. Now that we have access to this therapy, I don’t want to go to my grave not having tried to recoup as much of the kind of life I should have had. I feel lucky for what I have, yet the status quo just doesn’t feel sufficient, and my experience of this therapy is that gradually over time life experience does keep getting deeper and fuller for me, so I can’t give up trying. That my life gradually is becoming more satisfying takes the edge off of my big regret that I’m running out of time. I think progress would be harder to achieve without this blog. I’m glad to know you, my fellow bloggers, who are on the same course.

  53. Daniel says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all of you (and a happy Hanukkah to Patrick, wherever he is).

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: I suspect he’s reading it, or worse still, will make him more determined to see the divisiveness between all us humans.

      I am not sure that Jew Jesus, ever existed and was more a wish myth by those Jews lead by Jesus, who broke with the then orthodox Judaism. Then why Abraham broke away for worshipping those celestial things they/we saw in the skies. But I gather before all that, it started with creating totem poles as something to worship … or blame.

      Meantime I hope the season brings some goodies for you. Daniel; and to everyone else as well … BUT; if not, then I hope at least I/you can feel it.

      Jack

      • David says:

        What Jack, no wise guys riding their camels across the seas ?; no Bethlehem Starbucks ??? (:

        • jackwaddington says:

          David: Correct … I don’t see “wise guys riding their camels across the seas …; no Bethlehem, or Starbucks either.

          But a great excuse to take a day or two, from normal slavery (work). I sure enjoyed it as a kid and no school, then with all the parties and then full stockings and then on coming downstairs, to see a table full of toys laid out for each of us.

          In adult life, it was a great excuse to have a big meal and go out to some gay bar to meet others and whoop it up.

          Jack

          • David says:

            Yep, the only SAINT, whose existence and worth I do not question. That may have kept me alive in the years beyond my failed 8 year old attempted suicide.

            • David says:

              My happiest years, with children, including creating a small wonderland for xmas, the 20′ fir trees; bent on them never experiencing my childhood horror story.

      • Daniel says:

        Thanks Jack. I see the scare is behind you, that you’re up and about. Looks like you’ll be burying us all.

        Not sure about Jew Jesus, but Mary with her “my son is God” is truly a great original Jewish Mother.

        • jackwaddington says:

          Daniel: Now that I am a post formal therapy person; I see almost daily the entanglements we neurotic humans get into. I’ll list most of them here, but I’m not expecting agreement, but just rather putting it out there:-

          The nature of thinking, religion, culture, education, and yes,, sport, art, science, medical practices, and especially philosophy.
          No other creature practices any of them; even though some people relate our practices to animals. I contend it is due to our neurotic thinking and conceit…

          I wrote a book to that effect and will send you a free e-copy of it if I have your email address. Mine is. jackwaddington@yahoo.com.
          I contend it our ‘neurotic needing’ these myths is what drives us into us, into a great deal of our human problems

          I doubt these feelings are what is keeping me alive and I sure don’t want to bury or cremate any of you. I do like life, but I am beginning to see that hoping for a long life is not necessarily a good thing. It depends on how I feel (and perhaps suffer) as I grow older.

          On the last line you say:- “Not sure about Jew Jesus, but Mary with her ‘my son is God’ is truly a great original Jewish Mother.” My partner says “Mary Christmas”. he has a point.

          I had a doctor friend some years ago, who say many girls come in wanting know what was happening to them, and he said simply:- “You are pregnant”, to with the patients would say “but I have never had sex with any boy”, then he’d reply- “Well! I happened once before”.

          We’re so full of so many myths going all the way back to ‘totem pole worship’, but to what effect? I suspect everyone knows mine.

          Jack

        • David says:

          It seems many peoples had identical stories, creation and redemption, primitive and sophisticated. The complete ‘jesus,’ fable is told in a Persian poem, 5000+ bc. These fables, and compendiums of fables tell much about their time, and the development of the peoples. I wonder if this got replaced by popular music. Certainly music of the late 30’s and early 40’s, and across the genres, questioned children being chattel, and the effects of brutality and drunkenness. Tear evoking , ” dead kid,” were popular. My mother listened to them, often sobbing; but still beat me, near to death sometimes. christmas day was a truce. Although it was always painful, I’d never get what I asked Santa for from the Sears catalogue. Right now that old pain settled in, heavy chest and constricted throat, tired, weak, fear, something familiar about it; it’s like it’s impossible to take it in, understand, I’m focused on trying to understand, and being very quiet, trying not to be seen. At 73 I still don’t ask for anything, for help, and , ha, elicit that stable of feeling symptoms when I don’t. So many threads making up that story.

          • jackwaddington says:

            David: It seems to me you are somewhat on the same wavelength when it comes to all these religious rituals and myths.

            It ought to be a day for children … and why not call it children’s day. Sure enough they/we need/ed more than just one day. I should have been all 365 of them and 366 on leap years.

            It sounds like you went through hell when you were so young. How did you fare with your kids and are they willing to tell you what kind of father they felt you were?

            Ah well! hope the day with your great-granddaughter went well.

            Jack

    • Phil says:

      Why happy Hanukkah only for Patrick? What about the rest of us?

      • Daniel says:

        Hey Phil, it was kind of a joke. But, Happy Hanukkah to you and also to all the rest of the bloggers. I’ll be thinking of you as I light my (4th) Menorah candle tonight.

  54. Phil says:

    Our two sons arrived on Friday for the holidays and I’m enjoying having them around. They both have a lot of things going on and make the house lively. It reminds me of when they were still kids living with us, and everything I went through around Christmas. to keep them happy. I don’t remember anything badly going wrong.
    Apart from that, the holidays arriving bring up other big feelings for me. I remember many happy Christmas’s from the distant past, my childhood, which is long gone. There were some difficult ones too, but the good ones are the ones that tend to bring up feelings. Sadness for no longer having my childhood family. With the progress I’ve made now, I think I would better appreciate and enjoy what was going on, and what I had at that time, if I was able to do it over. It’s sad that’s all done with and my parents are also long gone.

    Phil

    • Larry says:

      That is regretful and sad that it’s all done with. I know a similar feeling.

      • David says:

        I’ve seen friends simply self destruct after the death of a parent. All hope to resolve shit dies,too unless they have the gift we all found, Primal Therapy. After PI an occasion arose when I confronted my father about his disappointment and disdain for me. I felt sick after, It did not help me and it hurt him.

  55. Margaret says:

    Just saw the last part of a documentary about indigenous people in Canada living in extremely poor housing conditions in the middle of large industrial zones exploiting the richnesses of oil and gas etc. on what used to be their land.
    many of the women and girls just disappear and there waas a very moving interview with a boy who lost his mom that way when he was ten. I think the documentary was by Louis Theroux but I was not quite sure, it was definitely his style.
    then he went to Vancouver and interviewed an ex addict social worker on the immense problem there of drug addiction to opioids and more specially the 40 times stronger than heroin synthetic medications that also form a huge problem now in the US.
    he mentioned the rate of overdoses in the US now being higher than the deadly car accidents or the gun shot deaths.
    he filmed in Vancouver in a volunteer center offering a safe place to inject drugs, clean needles and people ready with oxygen or medical assistance when overdose threatened.
    they had already intervened and prevented more than 1000 overdoses that way.
    one of them just almost occurred when they were filming, and Louis, if it was him, was very affected emotionally and impressed with that initiative and what they managed to do.
    documentaries like this really matter, I admire the work and emotional and mental investment and the eye opening and hopefully useful effect they can have on everyone seeing them, specially politicians and people working in places where they can initiate changes for the better.
    M

    • Larry says:

      I just finished reading a newly published book titled “From the Ashes” written by Jesse Thistle, a Metis-Cree man born in Saskatchewan, Canada, who after childhood grew into drug addiction and homelessness, until in his 30’s he pulled his life together and currently is an assistant professor. Because it is a memoir of his troubled life, it is a difficult read but one that has changed me in that I find myself still thinking about his life. I’m giving the book as gifts to some of my relatives. I’m unsure how well it will be received because I feel that they don’t like to look at the disturbing side of life that is right under our noses. Nevertheless the book is well written and kept drawing me in to read more. To know that his life would eventually turn out better than it was helped me to keep on reading through all the disturbing bits.

      • Daniel says:

        Speaking of books, here’s one with an interesting title. I haven’t read the book so I don’t know if it’s any good*, but it shows how the Primal Scream, though written 50 years ago, became part and parcel of current culture.

        * It seems to argue a connection between the sexual revolution and identity politics, which on the face of it is an interesting connection to make.

        • jackwaddington says:

          Daniel: I checked to see what book you were referring to … to no avail. I doubt I would read it either unless I could get a free download of it.

          My take is that Janov had a very powerful message and became his book became a ‘best-seller’ as a result of it, but because of factors not yet obvious, I suspect the public out there, got a sense of what he was saying and implying, but for reasons of how “neurosis” gets entrenched, it was left as some 70’s fad.

          However, I feel strongly that the message remains there in the subconscious and will eventually get revived … Sadly, it could be someone that does not even acknowledge Janov. Should that happen, it would be antithetical to Primal theory.

          Jack

          • Daniel says:

            I think that the expression Primal Scream is very evocative. I recently read a piece about Trump’s tweets, and the writer said that the ALL CAPS portions of his tweets are his primal scream. I liked that. I liked that not only because it was an apt and evocative metaphor for Trump’s states of mind, but also because I was glad to see this lovingly familiar phrase alive and well. And, I also got that strange intoxication of, “well, here you go talk about the primal scream, but I actually got to do it”. I liked that about myself.

            Personally, I’m not sure whether the decline of PT (along with other psychodynamic therapies) is a bad thing, because it would mean there is now no prestige in it, no money, no large attentive public, no glamour. And since there are no prizes to be won you’ll practice or apply for it only if you love it, if it engages you somehow, and that will free both practitioners and patients to keep on figuring what it is and what is it good for.

            PT customarily shielded itself from the outside and went it alone. Perhaps for good reason. Today, however, one can’t go it alone. One has to talk to other fields (sociology, anthropology, history, literature) and to critics, patients, or anyone else who is interested and can open it up. I’m not familiar with the details but I think Janov tried to do that somehow but wasn’t very successful, although, If I remember correctly, Gretchen mentioned once that Janov wasn’t trying to make friends in the intellectual world.

            • jackwaddington says:

              Daniel: A very interesting take; but I see it all a little differently. On Trump’s all caps emphasis,, I agree … the guy is screaming, but he knows not why.

              The title “The Primal Scream” sure was evocative and was what drove me to want and read the book. However, I felt just after reading the introduction, (albeit that I had had one such event prior to knowing or reading the book), it was the discovery that was the major breakthrough. I feel that is not emphasized enough, by anyone outside of primalers.

              If I am correct, then it makes sense why most other mental health professionals never took to the therapy, nor the medical profession either, since, in its own way, they saw it as some break away from Freud, and those that followed Freud.
              It is my reason, it was the greatest DISCOVERY mankind ever made, OR will ever make … reason:- we discovered something very fundamental about ourselves:- the ability to re-live all those old painful and devastating feelings. Whether or not, the therapy is effective, becomes subjective. Does it CURE neurosis?

              We intellectually, spend more time responding to the effectiveness of therapy, rather than looking into the discovery and further, looking into the theory that Janov developed afterward. It was just that, that made Janov a genius IMO.

              My suspicion is that the Primal revival will not come out of psychologists,, but rather from outside forces making life difficult, and the people protesting and NEEDING a way to live, relatively contentedly and through nature. Some of that, as I see it, is happening right now, with all the protest, and governments after increasingly seeing that even repression of its people, is not working out.

              Jack

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: That story in the documentary really: disturbs me to the point of being so angry that some humans are doing to other humans, and especially the disappearance of women. It is lovely that there are some people and organizations who are doing their best to help them, but for me, it’s attacking the problem from the wrong end.

      We ought to be treating the people that are committing these horrors or better still making sure that the babies of now, are getting what they need and being unconditionally loved. Thus being able to retain all their human feelings and sensitivities, such that they would not be committing these horrors.

      The same applies to rape and the notion for many men that women’s bodies are there for the ephemeral enjoyment for those men, committing these atrocities against women…

      And on and on and on, taking land from the indigenous peoples. We Brits did so much of that around the planet. Fuck fuck and fuck!!!

      Jack

  56. David says:

    Gretchen, I found the new page, or, it found me, I’m totally incompetent with electronics gadgetry.

  57. Jo says:

    I’ve been crying this morning…I don’t know if I’ll ever see my mummy and daddy again..I’m alone somewhere..I don’t know when mummy is coming back…I’m in hospital…I’m on my own….it’s agony….
    This Christmas is more triggering, I’m actually around family and people that love me, and I notice I’m anxious when any conflict or discomfort arises in their/my interactions. It’s tricky to navigate the old feelings and the present. I strive not to placate, I fear that I/they won’t be loved anymore. My usual daily life is usually devoid of interpersonal dialogue and contact, so the current situation is making me more aware of what goes on with me.
    My hosts have left early to be with their grandchildren when they open their presents. I’m due to join a large family gathering later. Hence I’m alone right now, and that feeling came up.

  58. Larry says:

    That is interesting Jo. Thanks for sharing that. What you said struck a chord in me, that your usual daily life is usually devoid of interpersonal dialogue and contact. For me the lead up to Christmas and the anticipation of being with my family felt more Christmassy than does the actual being here with them on the eve of Christmas. I don’t have any opportunity to be alone and see what feeling might arise, so I just have to be mired down in whatever the feelings are until Dec 30 when I get back to my home, alone.

    What seems to be troubling my consciousness and interfering with my enjoyment of this Christmas while I spend more time here in daily close physical contact with people than I normally do, is that a big chunk of my life is lived and over and with it are gone opportunities for life experiences such a being a parent or taking on adventures that require a robust youthful energy that I feel I don’t have as much of lately. In other words, I have a sense of my life in decline in that the window of life opportunities once open to me has closed down by several degrees.

    Also I feel sad that with the brother and sister-in-law with whom I am staying, I cannot be myself. Furthermore, for more than a month something is causing my breathing to feel laboured and I’m mystified as to whether the irritant is emotional or physical. I have a suspicion that I have a mild but irritating upper respiratory tract infection or series of them that has lingered for more than a month. On top of all that, I think I’m becoming conscious that uprooting my life and moving to live nearer to my family won’t fill my feeling of emptiness. The question of whether to move nearer to family or stay in the city and community I’m currently in, far away from them, seems to be settling on staying where I’ve been living for the past 25 years. Making the decision causes me distress because it closes the door on options, but helps me to confront and do something about feelings of emptiness past and present in my life where I live and call home.

    It was good for me to write this down and bring it into better focus for me, before the day begins this Christmas morning.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Larry: I also feel, you writing it all here is a great help, it sure is for me.

      Something as simple as a blog where one can attempt to be one’s self is such a gift.

      Jack

    • Jo says:

      That choice of uprooting where you live to be near family comes up for me too sometimes Larry…family is a pull…then I get to realise old feelings (of wanting to be cared for) are involved, and I remember that I’ve built a real life where I am, which is as good as can be so far.

  59. Daniel says:

    Jack, I think you’re mistaken in assuming the medical and psychological establishments was Freudian. I also think, as I argued here before, that Janov and PT are not Freudless, even though there are different emphases and conclusions.

    On your second point, PT may have been the greatest discovery ever for us personally, but you can say that only because we were born into a time were many more important and far reaching discoveries had already taken place. For example, just in the field of health: disinfection, antibiotics, vaccination, soap and sewage have contributed and continue to contribute daily to public health way more than PT ever will. They are surely “greater” discoveries and developments for mankind.

    That being said, what psychotherapy can help us find and understand – and medicine and technology cannot – is how to live.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: My understanding of Janov was:- he was trained as a Freudian and practiced it until he discovered ‘re-living’. He acknowledged Freud was a genius.

      You state:- “On your second point, PT may have been the greatest discovery ever for us …” I did not say PT (assuming PT is an acronym for Primal therapy). I said (or meant to say) the discovery was:- the ability to re-live forgotten events in our life. Primal therapy was Janov’s creation after making that discovery … of the ability to re-live the past, as opposed to merely remembering it, AND to re-live moments in our lives when those moments had to be relegated to that area of the brain we had almost no access to:- the subconscious. We primalers now know it’s possible like- pre-birth, the actual birth, and many more moments in very early childhood.

      Freud discussed the unconscious and neurosis and was the first to coin the phrase … to the best of my readings, but Freud did not DEFINE it nor state what caused it. Merely acknowledged its existence. The medical profession has stated there is a condition called amnesia but never got further to explaining the why and how of it. Janov cleared up that factor by showing how trauma creates the ability (for the sake of survival) to relegate that unbearable event and its memory from coming to the conscious mind, substituting the process of the ‘act-out’.

      As for all the other discoveries, (explanations), I contend, our need for those explanations are the results of neurosis. None of those other discoveries did anything to either alleviate the effects of neurosis or define it; merely allowed us humans, to continue a neurotic life (lifestyle if you wish).

      On your last line:- I would prefer to state it somewhat differently: “what Primal therapy can help us find and understand; and medicine and technology cannot – is how we should have been able to live; just as we did BEFORE we humans became neurotic.

      Finally, Freud contended that to be humans was to be neurotic Janov (as I understand him) completely refuted that notion.

      Jack

      • Daniel says:

        Jack, just to set the historical record straight yet once again,

        “showing how trauma creates the ability (for the sake of survival) to relegate that unbearable event and its memory from coming to the conscious mind, substituting the process of the ‘act-out’”

        was Freud’s first theory at the end of the 19th century and the root for what later became psychoanalysis. Janov sort of picked up where Freud left off and indeed carried the theory and especially the practice much further. By the way, although Freud changed his mind and stopped developing his external trauma theory (for reasons which have been debated on the blog before) he nevertheless carried forward the idea of something that overthrows the self’s ability to master and digest stimuli, bringing it to a state of insufficiency that calls defensive measures which may or may not be successful. The difference from the first theory regarding trauma lies the composition of the traumatic stimuli which now include not only external forces but internal as well. Henceforward, Freud’s researches focused mostly on those internal forces. In other words, trauma is still there.

        Freud coined neither Neurosis nor the Unconscious, but these became household words thanks to the rise of Freud’s psychoanalytic ideas, especially after WW I.

        • jackwaddington says:

          Daniel: I do enjoy our back and forths and some of the things you state, are new to me. However, it is the perception of what advances Janov made in the world of psychology, we seem to differ on.

          From what little I read of several psychological thinkers before I came across Janov; it was the psychologists analyzed their patient, and then made so-called helpful suggestions to the patient. Hense ‘analysis’.

          On reading “The Primal Scream” in 1972, I just knew he’d discovered something quite new,, different, and impressive.
          Because I had had a re-living experience that at the time baffled and confused me. In so far as I knew it was more than a memory … a ‘re-living’ the event, as Janov stated in that first book. It hit me ‘right between the eyeballs’; I instantly knew this was something quite different.
          I wanted to do it. rather than my feeling, I needed to do it. First: it was subjective and not objective, as I felt most of the psychological profession practiced it, also from my reading and knowing several people undergoing psychological treatment.

          Academia IMO has a habit of making their subjects complex and convoluted for reasons that I find misleading and promotion of high PAYMENT for their work, thus it is neurotic; by how I see neurosis manifesting itself with almost ALL of us. We’ve built our individual survival on this method of an exchange system, (now money) to keep the capitalist system in place. the only one we know.

          I contend it requires a fundamental mind shift from those ideas. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last to do this:- “mind shifting”, “looking outside the {conventional} box” “anarchy” or what you will.

          I also contend that most are not willing to go there, as you said of yourself, because it is FUCKING scary. Yes! it is all of that and perhaps more.
          Which brings us back to the difference between Janov and Freud.

          The Primal way encourages us to go into and explore those ‘SCARINESSES. Something I never saw with any prior psychology school of thought.

          Meantime, the sun is shining and it’s a clear blue sky … as of now … yippee …but very cold.
          Bbrrrr!!

          Jack

    • David says:

      I believe what was needed in 1900 was sanitation. Clean air,drinkable water, safe food staples were in place. For a myriad of reasons that would take an epistle to cover, while sanitation was improved the other elements have degraded. I grew up in a rural community. My progenitors lived into their 90’s and early 100’s, most independently until life’s end. That is the story told by rural graveyards. The overcrowded, filthy, cities are another matter. Certainly the dollar power of the Drug Industry have convinced most that their antibiotics and vaccines have saved us all, but the facts being updated daily by docs who have actually done the research instead of toeing the company line and vacated their muzzling masters are telling a different story. Industry does not inform only the Public School System as to the style and content of curriculum. I believe that Primal Therapy, like all medical arts not fuelled solely by the , ” tools,” from Big Pharma’s medicines chest, was an enormous threat that had to be controlled, preferably annihilated. There are online, ” QUACKBUSTER,”, sites dedicated to taking out the opposition. 10 cases of Measles or Whooping Cough makes headlines, an , ” epidemic,” of world threatening proportion. That over 400,000 S citizens died by, ” .. physician caused death, Iatrogenesis, goes unpublicized. Not only will all Non Allopathic practitioners be targeted, but so is the MD, MD PHD, formerly highly respected, who thinks for themselves, does their own extensive examination of the actual peer reviewed published Science, and discovers a different answer, lack of efficacy, known dangers,….. They also discover the vast number of Federal Court convictions against the Big Drug manufacturers. They the become dangerous pariahs, …..
      And while Jack doesn’t need anyone to stand up ‘for him, I think it is fruitless for you to believe you can school him on Primal Therapy. I put on my Mr Polite tinfoil hat before composing this. My reptile brain is straining at it’s constraints though, Daniel. I, of course, have no understanding of your credentials that you believe inform your assertions in your attempt to educate Jack.

      • David says:

        I interned at a Psychiatric Hospital in 1969, 1970. The explanation attached to the action of anti-psychotic meds was, that they close the gate between the unconscious and conscious mind. Conversion hysteria was also well explained. So names for , ” what the patient has,” shows they were knowns. States of mental illness, rather, giving them names, is a favourite pastime of Big Drugs and the Allopathic Sickcare model. Janov explained how accepted treatment was an obstacle to resolution. I did not know Dr. Janov, but just maybe he wanted to challenge us to think for ourselves, maybe, that twinkle in his eyes…….

        • jackwaddington says:

          David: I did not know Art that well either, but read everything he wrote both on his site and his books.

          What I feel is the difference between Primal therapy and Freudian ‘psychoanalysis’ is that Janov abandoned the idea that the therapist told the patient … whereas he sure shifted 160 degrees with Primal therapy stating, the patient told the therapist.

          To and for me, that was his genius.

          Jack

  60. Happy Holiday to everyone in the Primal Community ! We hope it is a wonderful New Year for you all ! Gretch and Barry

  61. Daniel says:

    Jack,
    I agree that Janov took reliving to its full extent. Nobody does it better than PT. In a more general sense, nobody does repressed feelings as good and as fully as PT.

    I disagree that psychodynamic psychotherapy before Janov consisted mostly of giving helpful suggestions. The central ‘tool’ at the dynamic psychotherapist’s disposal was the so-called interpretation which was/is meant to reveal something hidden in a way that will help to reconnect it to central mental life. As can be gleaned from this description it is a sort of an art form rather than an exact science, and therefore various schools of thought defined differently according to their emphasis. What was common to all of them was the idea of the unconscious and its special language.

    You’re right that such an endeavor can easily become defensive where words and sentences and paragraphs spoken may be used to conceal the truth rather than bring it to the open. Patient and therapist can certainly collude in this. I think Janov was aware of this and was trying to cure psychotherapy of its reliance on speech alone.

    However, please be reminded that Janov very quickly ran into the very same difficulty. While trying to do away with the defensive aspects of speech he found that not all feelings are created alike. Feelings too may have a defensive aspect to them, can be real or not, can used for actual connection or for defensive purposes (abreaction). In this point, Janov was brought back to square one whence he started his theoretical journey.

    Apparently, whenever there are two of something one can be employed as a defense against the other, and so both speech and feelings can be a defense against true connection and knowledge. The false self can pose as a true self. A major goal of therapy of any kind would now become to distinguish between the real and the defensive, between the true and the false, between actual feelings and abreaction.

    But this is only a first step, because once the defensive is differentiated from true thoughts and feelings (not an easy task) you’d now have to develop a way of therapeutically dealing with it. Easier said than done. Such resistances can be very recalcitrant or protracted. It is a professional challenge of the first degree.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Daniel: An interesting description as you see it, and no doubt are faced in your practice.

      I do concur that it is possible to use one feeling, as a ‘defense’ against another, but as I see it, it’s a process of gradually going deeper. I have noticed this with some buddies I’ve sat for and found myself doing much the same.

      However, there is another factor that we’ve not discussed and that is the eventual ramifications of feeling unresolved, reverberating in the Subconscious, I say subconscious (as I prefer to call it since it sits below the conscious level. Theoretically, there is no subconscious with none neurotics and is not just part of the consciousness. The consequences of reverberating feeling never getting resolved, and are the result of later maladies like heart, diseases, Parkinson’s and many others and I did like Janov’s noting that cancer is/are the cells going crazy. Or words he used to that effect.

      Because of my aging and loss of energy I am fully cognisant of all this. Seemingly, according to some, I am doing well for my age, BUT is that any real consolation.

      Meantime, I kinda glad we’ve gotten over the first part of the season … now to deal with the rest.
      My feeling is that it belongs to children and even there, it’s a form of placating them.

      Jack

  62. Phil says:

    Jack,
    I thought you might like this article since it’s about the evils of capitalism. Maybe with the coming crises there is some hope, but I’m not feeling it.

    https://truthout.org/articles/humans-arent-inherently-destroying-the-planet-capitalism-is/?utm_source=sharebuttons&fbclid=IwAR3i92nnh3v32wRi-g1UvLJwe0ZK8X3KT4_RES7KEzpDrOHDL0PgFjZ9Q0o

    Phil

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: Thanks for the site. I am taking the liberty to quote some of the poignant lines in it, which attest to what I am also claiming:-

      “If we are to stop the destruction of the planet, then we need to name the systems that cause it and observe that there are some humans who had nothing to do with it”

      “Capitalism is a system that doesn’t pay its bills”

      “capitalism has figured out ways to defray or move around the real consequences of its uses of things like nature, work, care, lives, energy, food, and money. These are all things that capitalists are trying to make a profit from,”

      “unpacks this idea of how nature, work, care, food, energy, money, and lives have been cheapened ”

      “What that demonstrates is that humans feel so separate from the rest of the web of life that we feel able and licensed to take animals and mutate them in ways that are very much geared toward profit.”

      “Capitalism depends on the policing of bodies and of humans so that there are those humans whose lives are systematically cheaper than others.”

      “We borrowed that line from the Marxist scholar Fredric Jameson, and part of the logic behind that statement is that quite a lot of capitalist effort has gone into crushing our imaginations for creating utopias and alternatives to capitalism.”

      “Quite a lot of capitalist effort has gone into crushing our imaginations for creating utopias and alternatives to capitalism.”.

      I will write further, after reflecting more on what I read here. Thank again, Phil.

      Jack

      • Phil says:

        Jack,
        I found the article quite interesting and informative. It emphasizes that capitalism is based on the exploitation of people and nature, in an unsustainable way, although I already knew that. It’s based on greed. I’m not seeing the end of capitalism coming anytime soon, but it could become more heavily regulated as we get deeper into the climate crisis. I don’t think the article really describes what a good post capitalist system would look like. It’s interesting that one of the legacies of out civilization and capitalist system, will be a huge number of leftover chicken bones. I’ll probably continue eating chicken but will stay away from chicken nuggets, as I have up until now.

        Phil

        • jackwaddington says:

          Phil: What I think the article is articulating is that we’re in the midst of destroying the planet, not only with climate change, but within our own behaviors. Also, it reveals to me, that there are perhaps more people becoming aware that all is not well, and so far all we’ve done it tweak things here and somethings there, resolving nothing fundamental.
          None of it is making things better. I further see that it is up to the young to become more radical in their thinking, but not sure this generation of the youing getting to the point of some major radical thinking, but the ideas ARE out there.

          However, the article does begin to reveal IMO that capitalism is not the way to go as you suggested. There’s no such thing as “a better capitalism”. I suggest you talk to your sons about it. I feel it might be surprising just how much nearer they are to some of these radical thoughts (albeit that they are not new). Regulating is not IMO the way to resolve matters either, since the outcome of regulation is ‘UNINTENDED’ consequences, and thus more regulation then that purports even more regulation, and on and on and on. Which is ‘part and parcel’ of capitalism.

          The first major breakthrough as I see it was:- Primal theory, discovery, and the modus appreendi of the therapy. The means to get back to our own NATURE, as opposed to our behaviour.
          I also contend the end of capitalism is closer than anyone imaginges. How; I have no idea nor does anyone else, but one possibily is a major major stock market crash on the global stock markets. Some are suggesting is iminant.

          Lastly:- the chicken bone idea is a great analogy, but not the way I see it. Also, no one knows what it will be like … all we are able to do (which most refuse to do) is to CONTEMPLATE it. Prouhon did it and so did Marx as so did I (not that that means I rank with those giants.

          Jack

        • Larry says:

          I think what the problem of our consumption vs Nature boils down to is that to survive, all life has to consume some aspect of Nature. Our species is supremely flexible and imaginative in finding ways to utilize Nature to enhance our survival and comfort, but there are too many of us now for Earth to support all of us in the Western lifestyle of material comfort. Either we have to find way to have our comfort but with less demand on Nature, or there has to be fewer of us who enjoy a safe, healthy, comfortable life.

          Another difficulty I see regarding reducing our environmental footprint is that we organize our societies around an elite who run aspects of it, and the elite rarely want to give up the status quo and their prestigious position in it. I don’t blame them. I don’t want to give up mine, either. I’m always conscious of my environmental footprint and try to fill my life with quality emotional life experience instead of material consumption, but I do have nice things that are important to me and enrich my life, and I don’t want to give up my comfort so that others who have little can have more.

          It seems to me that the best hope for humankind’s future rests on there being a big enough critical mass of people and influential leaders who have emotional/social wisdom and intelligence and who have empathy for humankind and Nature. In other words, I think we have to find a way to all work together in an informed, wise, intelligent manner for the benefit of all and Nature, not just for personal gain only. I maintain hope that we can rise to the challenge, but I feel it is likely we won’t in time to avoid a lot of suffering for a lot of people due to stress and calamity arising from climate change and from the breakdown of the balance of Nature that we are accustomed and adapted to.

          • Phil says:

            Larry, here are some interesting statistics: “Right now, our planet only has enough resources for each of us to consume 1.8 “global hectares” annually – a standardised unit that measures resource use and waste. This figure is roughly what the average person in Ghana or Guatemala consumes. By contrast, people in the US and Canada consume about 8 hectares per person, while Europeans consume 4.7 hectares – many times their fair share.”
            https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/sep/23/developing-poor-countries-de-develop-rich-countries-sdgs

            The US and Canada should move towards consuming much less, towards Europe’s level, and eventually to that level of 1.8 global hectares. Judging by trash cans seen outside we do pretty well at my house. We don’t produce that much garbage compared to other people, or we’re better at recycling. But I’m sure we could do much better.
            Phil

          • jackwaddington says:

            Larry: Your comment inspired me to write about some of the things happening to me now.

            I contend, in our search for solution/s, we fail to see that we need to go way beyond many of the thoughts, ideas, and opinions we currently use in an attempt to resolve them. I relate much of this via my therapy like:- after resolving one problem there is another close behind that one. That ultimate goal of “cure of neurosis”, seems unattainable UNLESS we see “cure”, from another perspective. Vivian in the early days of the Primal journals wrote that we “ought to give pause to cure” or words to that effect. That piqued my thinking at the time of reading it.

            I’m not sure we are either intelligent or even flexible, as I see it. We’ll sacrifice anything to maintain the ‘status quo’, which includes our current means of ‘creature comfort’. I tend to want to look at how other creatures deal with many of the things of their life. We assume we are different, whereas I see our only difference being that we are neurotic and not fully-feeling, and have lost our real nature.

            At this late stage in life, I am not sure I will ever be the natural-self I would have been had I not been traumatized. And as I grow older, I see more and more trauma happening to me that even until recently did not consider traumatic. Now I am slowly realizing the insidious depth of what happened to me.

            Of course, it would be easy for me to put it down to getting old and getting nearer to death. I am not sure that is correct … perhaps I’ll never really know.

            Jack

            • Larry says:

              Jack it’s interesting how you keep being able to see and acknowledge more deeply into your trauma. I feel sad that most of us will not live long enough to resolve all of our infant and childhood pain that interferes with our becoming our full potential selves. But when I look back at what my life was before I started pt, I see that this therapy has already performed a miracle in having enabled me to have made a meaningful life for myself that I would otherwise never have had. Because this therapy works for me, I find I still want to try to make more out of what life I have left.

              Regarding other creatures and ourselves, other species have a limited range in how they can make a living off of Nature. For example, fish in the sea cannot live directly off of food grown on land. We can do both. We are different from other creatures in that the range within which we figure out how to utilize Nature to our short term benefit seems boundless. Thanks to our ingenuity and our hands and our upright walking ability, we’ve been able to utilize almost every ecological niche there is. No other species has done that. Our abilities enabled us to overcome a great range of ecological diversity and adversity, thus far, in a way that no other species has.

              • jackwaddington says:

                Larry: I don’t quite agree with your characterization of other creatures. For the most part (the exception being all the domesticated creatures), If, as I feel, being neurotic is so insidious, then those other creatures have ‘one-up’ on us, in that they are fully feeling, and NOT neurotic.

                All those other things about uprightness etc, are no real benefit. We view and study other creatures from our own (neurotic) perspective; but is that realistic in the long term? To me, it sure explains why we are destroying the one and only home we ever had, or are will ever have, IMO.

                Jack

  63. Phil says:

    Things haven’t been good here and that put a damper on Christmas, but it was about as good as I could expect considering all that. Gift giving was nice and holiday dinner especially having our sons around, coming and going. The holidays are almost never quite right, it seems, even if the problems started in October, as happened this year. But my feeling is they could be or should be, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Something is really wrong with us. I have to remember that even when we are doing well, it’s deceptive. We are actually ready to fall apart at any moment. Its not over yet, with New Years coming, and our sons still around, but I’m not expecting any improvements. At least no more incidents have happened making things worse, but it’s not a good way to start the new year.
    Phil

    • Larry says:

      I’m sorry to hear that Phil. It’s painful to but I guess good to acknowledge problems, because acknowledgment is an important step toward hopefully working through them. But it sometimes take years, in my experience.

  64. jackwaddington says:

    Everyone: New year greetings from this side of the pond. It’s been a sunny day with clear blue skies … but cold. I wish I/we will live to experience. a feeling-full year and for all the rest of the years that I/we will be here on our lovely blue planet, earth.

    Jack

  65. jackwaddington says:

    I saw an interview last night on Amanpour of an African American playing the part of Willie Loman in Death of a salesman, by Arthur Miller, in a West-end London theatre
    An old boyfriend of mine played the part of Wille Loman in a repertory company and I helped him to learn his lines. I never quite saw the play the way Wendel Pierce spoke of it, but I did see it as an ambition to make lots of money; as both my father and my brother were also salesmen.

    I just knew that I did not want to pursue that kind of a living, and the stresses and pressure it put both my father and more so, my brother.

    The gist of what Wendel Peirce was saying was that it is a precursor to what is happening in the US and the UK. ‘Make my country great again’, whereas, I see neither country was ever great, but it did demonstrate to me that there is a movement of dissatisfaction going on with many people around the world, as demonstrated with all the protests in numerous countries.

    My take is:- whilst we humans are great at seeing the problem, we’re remiss in finding real solutions. I contend the reason is, as Wendel Pierce stated, we’we are a creature of behaviors, that he stated was our nature.; I see it as behavior, for we lost our real nature, but we’re still talking about the dark side of human nature.

    As I see it, Art Janov and Primal, had the beginnings of those solutions, but as of yet, not convince the population at large. We need to get back to our nature, most of us were born with … then lost it …, due to parenting.

    Jack

    • Phil says:

      Jack, Most people don’t want therapy, and those that do, usually want something
      short term. Even now when there’s more and more focus on trauma and
      various therapies to address it’s effects. I guess most people are happy and not
      worried about the future of the world. Some people think the past was better, or they were happier, maybe when there weren’t so many immigrants and they could be freely racist. Those are the great times they’re thinking of.
      Primal is more for those of us who want a complete overhaul. The way I see it, primal is never going to save humanity, since few people want it.
      Phil

  66. Phil, I’m not sure I would agree exactly. If you consider all the different ways people mask their pain, drugs, alcohol, gambling, politics ( lol) I’m not sure I would say most people are happy. What I would say is it takes tremendous courage to confront the issues that keep us sick. If you consider how many years we have been around and the thousands who have considered therapy it may be few in terms of the world population but not completely hopeless either. There are still many who want and need help, not just from us but from the many therapies available in our communities. What I think is really sad is that getting therapy of any kind is not necessarily an option for all people. Gretch

    • Phil says:

      Gretchen,
      Well what if I put it this way: most people are not so unhappy that they would consider therapy, or don’t think it could be effective. Or they think pursuing other things might make them happy, and maybe that’s possible . Just some thoughts, I’m not really concluding anything.
      Phil

      • Phil says:

        It’s also maybe a feeling I’m dealing with: many or most people seem to be happier than I usually am, or don’t struggle as much. Maybe not at all true and just part of my feeling.
        Phil

        • jackwaddington says:

          Phil: I feel you are missing some fundamental aspect to humanity, of all races, groups, and kinds of people; I fear that no-one escapes neurosis, (unable to even be aware of their deep hidden pain) … and thus passes it on to their young, (inadvertently, and on and on and on. As Art so stated ‘neurosis IS THE PROBLEM.

          You stating that:- “I guess most people are happy and not worried about the future of the world”. It appears to me, the way you see others … because IMO they are masking AS GRETCHEN WROTE, their deep innermost pain, in that area of the brain we as babies created to store that ‘unbearable’ pain.

          When we humans look for solutions from a state of not knowing the root of the problem, then we come up with political solutions … little realizing that (to quote Art) we are looking in all the wrong places. SO!!!!! Where is the right place to look for it?

          I personally, have no idea (nor does anyone else IMO), but I feel if we can become aware of other places to look for them, and then, sift out all those places we’ve been looking for these solutions; then I feel we may well be onto finding where those real solutions are, and pursue them.

          Granted; it’s more complex and convoluted and thus few are willing to change their mindset in order to make that “conceptual leap” … “get out of the box”, required, IMO, to go that ‘extra mile’.

          As for folks “not being interested”, true in one sense UNLESS one has children of their own and are REALLY interested in their future.

          Jack

          • Phil says:

            Jack,
            Those of us lucky enough to do primal therapy hopefully have shifted our positions on the neurosis spectrum, we are less neurotic than before, but not cured. And we are aware and actively progressing on that spectrum. But many people are ahead of us (me) who have never done therapy. That’s the way I see it.

            Phil

        • Phil says:

          It ended up I had a big feeling with this, I guess related to whats going on with my wife. My mother doesn’t talk to me, that was the feeling. She literally didn’t talk to me for years. She wasn’t interested in me. She was sick, but even before that, I don’t remember much, nothing nice she said. I got more of a handle on this, how huge it is, to have had a mother like that. It was necessary for me to forget about her, as best I could, while she was still living. Anyway, she had forgotten about me.
          Phil

      • Larry says:

        At the time of the run-up to the last election for President in the US. I felt that whether Trump was elected or not would be a barometer of the overall mental health of the US population. A write up that I find very interesting in the Opinion section of today’s issue of the New York Times is: “Why Is America So Depressed? It’s no coincidence that our politics and our mental health have declined so rapidly, at the same time.”

        Repeating what I’ve said before on the blog, I feel that increasing societal material inequality gives rise to a diminishing sense of connection to each other, a breakdown of a feeling of community and trust and a shrinking emotional investment or sense of belonging and a shrinking sense of a future for ourselves in the society we find ourselves in, a decreasing sense that we are all pulling together to achieve a better life satisfaction for all, and gives rise to a decline in overall societal mental health.

        Below I’ve pasted excerpts from the NY Times article that give a sense of the tone its message.

        “The really sorrowful reports concern suicide. Among all Americans, the suicide rate increased by 33 percent between 1999 and 2017.”

        “All of this mental carnage is occurring at a time when decades of social and political division have set against each other black and white, men and women, old and young. Beyond bitter social antagonisms, the country is racked by mass shootings, the mind-bending perils of the internet, revelations of widespread sexual predation, the worsening effects of climate change, virulent competition, the specter of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, grinding student debt and crises in housing, health care and higher education. The frightening environment helps cause depression, depression causes catastrophic thinking, and catastrophic thinking makes the environment seem even more terrifying than it is.”

        “Out of this dark cast of mind arose the hunger for a strong, avenging figure whose arrival has sent even more mentally harrowing shock waves through society. If President Trump is indeed mentally ill, as so many of his critics claim, he may well be the most representative leader we have ever had.”

        “The real national division is between people who have the resources, inner and outer, to survive their mental illness and those who don’t.”

        “Affording a therapist and finding the right therapist — it is rare: wisdom, empathy and kindness cannot be taught — they are the first obstacles to overcome.”

        “Yet even as our mental health crisis proliferates, even as streams of books and articles are published about depression and anxiety, the subject of mental illness has become another voyeuristic exhibition in the carnival of commerce. We talk about it, but we don’t talk about how to address it.”

        • Phil says:

          Larry,
          We are very divided here politically. Hillary Clinton is not popular and that’s another reason we ended up with Trump in 2016. He was different than the other republican candidates in that year; he said things which caught people’s attention who had been lied to for many years. Of course Trump is an even bigger liar. I have to wonder about the mental health of the people continuing to support Trump. None of those problems the NY Times article talks about are brand new. I think you’re right about societal inequality. That, together with our emphasis on material possessions as a measure of success and happiness is a bad combination. People in some poorer countries I think are overall happier, and probably have less mental illness.

          Phil

          • Phil says:

            Inequality is a big part of the problem but voters will still vote for people like Trump who make that problem worse. They are fooled into thinking the problem is immigrants and racial minorities.
            Phil

            • Larry says:

              Phil, I understand that Trump’s support base also feels that the elites and experts who have run the country run it mainly for the benefit of the already rich and powerful, whereas regardless of what he actually is and isn’t accomplishing, because he behaves and talks in ways that his support base identifies with, his support base feels that Trump is their hero and that he is disrupting the elite’s hold on the reins of power to the benefit of his support base. .

          • jackwaddington says:

            Phil: I disagree with your analysis of the result of the 2016 election. The problem is right there in the US constitution that allows 540 Electoral College Members, to finally decide who with be the next president. This demonstrates to me, that the election of a president in the US is NOT democratic.

            Being an outsider; I see several other flaws to the US constitution the biggest being the 2nd amendment. Sadly, we all have to live with the laws other people make … I see that as madness.

            Jack

            • Phil says:

              Jack,
              I agree, that the Electoral College is a big issue, and there are also problems with the nominating process for both parties. That’s another reason why republicans ended up with Trump in 2016, even though there were other better candidates running in the primaries that year.
              None of this will be fixed this year, and maybe not anytime soon.
              Phil

              • jackwaddington says:

                Phil: The deeper issue as I see it, is governing and Governments … with all the convolutions they bring about, by proposing their ideas.
                My take:- “dead on arrival”, as I would prefer to state it.

                Jack

          • Larry says:

            Various measures suggest that people in Scandinavian countries are among the happiest. Those countries also have more socialist governing strategies where higher taxes go to more spending on public institutions and services and greater equality than in most other countries.

          • Larry says:

            Phil, the reason I cited that article is that it’s author highlights a concern that increasingly more people in the US (the subject of the author’s topic) need help but don’t have the resources to get therapy, nor, as Gretchen mentioned, is there enough availability of any therapies to help them if they seek it. As I’ve gradually healed via PT I’ve become increasingly sensitive to others’ unmet need and the emotional prisons they try to but can’t escape, even in my orbit of family and friends who I once thought were happier than me.

            Just as and example, the topic of the unitarian church service this coming Sunday is: “We all know the platitudes about struggle and change being good things, but… How? How exactly to do you navigate those choppy waters? How do you let yourself be transformed? How do you let go? How do you make it through the day when things are really tough?”

            As I get to better know people in my life and sadly see them resigned to or wanting and trying to break free of unfulfilling, self-limiting or destructive feelings and behaviour, I feel how really lucky I am to have awareness of this therapy, to have access to it and to have the resources to do it. I’ve become more sadly aware of others’ need for help but there is none available for them.

            • jackwaddington says:

              Larry: It is for that very reason that I developed my idea of how to get there (abolish money) … the one thing no-one seemingly, see as possible. I know it’s a difficult task to see that, as a possible solution, but like you, I see no other, and as is obvious to everyone, getting access to psychological help is both costly and often impossible; to get for varying reasons

              Jack

              • Larry says:

                I sense your desperation of a need of a solution, Jack.

                • jackwaddington says:

                  Larry: If by “desperation” you mean that I am so very concerned for the future of humanity, all living creatures, and the very planet. Yes, I sure am that concerned. (call it ‘a Solution’ if you like)

                  The problem with the use of “desperation” in an everyday context, usually signifies some state of agitation. I don’t feel agitated about it, but I certainly am deeply concerned. Just like Greta Thunberg, the Swedish girl, about Climate change.

                  It is people just like Greta that changes the mindset of people, history is full of such people. I don’t claim to one of them, but I do hope and wish that we humans might begin to see that our current way of behaving isn’t serving us well at all. I claim Janov was one of those people and Janov sure ‘rattled my cage’.

                  Jack

        • jackwaddington says:

          Larry: To quote your last line “voyeuristic exhibition in the carnival of commerce. We talk about it, but we don’t talk about how to address it.”

          I agree wholeheartedly, For me, the more pain I feel and the more I am able to feel. Especially now in the waning years of my life.

          Jack

          • Larry says:

            I want to clarify that the last line is not my words but is a quote from the article.

            • jackwaddington says:

              Larry: Although it’s a quote it felt to me that you support the notion … for why else quote it.

              Maybe I did quite see your point; even though I’ve just re-read it.

              Jack

  67. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    that sounds like a great insight you had.
    sounds familiar too, I remember once, long ago, being in a pub and feeling the same thing more or less, and feeling inadequate when suddenly i realized myself the young lady ordering something at the bar, at first sight looking happy and highly functional, as opposed to how I felt, probably also had her own insecurities and fears like we all do. it helped me to know on some level we all carry a same kind of problem to deal with, our unmet pain and fear and having to cope with life while keeping up some kind of front most of the time.

    on another note, the conservation about therapy made me wonder about whether starting therapy is more difficult of a step to take for more right wing orientated people, maybe their defense being stronger or something, as I got the impression during my own years of therapy, most patients are what in the US is democrats, or more left wing or liberal.
    does that make sense, Gretchen? I remember once on a retreat talking about the topic over lunch, and we were kind of agreeing that in primal therapy chances might exist right wingers would slowly evolve towards a more tolerant viewpoint , possibly turning into democrats. or maybe they tend to drop out or not even start therapy?
    I did seem to notice staying in therapy can be especially hard for people (men?) with a lot of anger.
    but those are just personal impressions, and I would like to know if some of them make sense to you, Gretchen, or not at all.
    M

  68. Margaret says:

    Larry,
    in the middle of your comment I got triggered just by the words empathy and kindness, used in reference to how a therapist should be.
    specially the word kindness set me off, hearing it as being important by another person kind of acknowledged my own feeling which i tend to question, as it seems to be linked to possible rejection and disapproval somehow.
    Gretchen came to my mind, and me not feeling entirely safe while also longing for connection. I thought of Barry and how safe I feel with him, and imagined telling Gretchen about my feelings, and when I imagined her telling me ‘but I do like you’, that set me off.
    I shifted to crying about mommy, going over the possible situations in which I might have felt hurt as a small child, and what popped up was how I often was laughed at for crying, or for how I looked while crying. there are pictures of me crying, like, which parent would think of making a picture of his kid while they are crying??
    she even had some ‘funny’ name for me and my face and what hurt seems that she did not take me serious, did not support me, made me feel like it was not safe to cry in front of her, while I needed her to be there badly on those moments and the feeling of not being safe when crying feels like it took away a major something which left a huge empty gap of need, a bleak void which has been hard to face as this is the first cry directly about that specifically.
    and I caught myself still searching for solutions, while the feeling is just exactly the absence of any solution, just sadness, even anger does not really do as the need is too urgent and the sadness too acute for my mommy not to be available when I would show my distress.
    far too scary and lonely as a small child, too big of a harsh truth to accept.
    what makes it bad as well is that it feels like she did not mean to be cruel or mean, but that she really did not have a clue of how I needed to be able to trust her.
    there seems also an important point, I know it feels hard for me to trust Gretchen entirely, or probably most female therapists at some point.
    there was one, particularly gentle one, who worked at the PI for a while on Pico, which felt safe, I can’t think of her name right now.
    the feeling also has to do with me feeling ‘discarded’, my feeling or behaviour not worth of the attention or even regarded as laughable, ridiculous.
    or annoying.
    guess you can hear the feeling is still hanging on but well, it felt useful to be able to cry and get some insights, just triggered by the word ‘kindness’, ha…
    M

    • Larry says:

      Thanks for sharing, Margaret. I’m glad I posted excerpts from that article if it helped you toward a personal insight.

      I have a similar assessment about my parents. I don’t feel they intended to ever be cruel or mean. I feel that they wanted the best for us, better than what they ever had. But they were not emotionally or physically available to us kids, could not meet my need to be held, comforted and loved, my need being especially more acute after the disruption of any parental bond by being given away to live with an aunt and uncle from when I was 1.5 until 4 years old. Yesterday I had the disturbing insight that my father was more like a labourer who worked the farm and kept it functioning and kept us materially comfortable, but in all other ways I was a very scared, lonely little kid in desperate need of love and comfort, without a father. It is, as you say Margaret, a bleak empty void that’s hard for me as an adult to accept, and impossible for a little kid to face. No wonder we hide it from our consciousness. But when we open our consciousness to it, we see how it is at the root of so much of our lifetime struggles.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: Wow! that seems like a very deep feeling and a lot of revelation in that comment. I felt very sad for that little girl that was laughed at for crying.

      How parents are so cut off from their feelings to act in that manner. It also shows to me your mistrust of female therapists. I suspect the therapist at Pico you were referring to was perhaps Judy. I mention it just in case that was the one; and revived your memory of that name.

      Jack

  69. Margaret says:

    Jack,
    in the meantime I remembered her name was Eva.
    Larry,
    that sounds so hard to process for a kid so young. first you suddenly are torn out of your parent’s house to get used to living with your aunt and uncle and then after a few years once more your life suddenly changes without you having any say in it all, it is a miracle you came out so well considering the circumstances, you found a loving partner and made a nice career despite it all and now you keep improving your social life.
    but so sad for that lonely frightened little boy…
    my mom could be comforting and caring a lot of the time, maybe that made it all the more unsettling when she found me funny looking while crying at times, I guess it made me feel it was somehow my fault for behaving in the wrong way or something like that. Shame and guilt seeping in and deeply buried resentment possibly, very scary as need was there and anger would maybe ruin whatever there was…
    but at the time I think confusion and hurt was prevailing…
    m

  70. Larry says:

    I identify with the confusion and hurt Margaret, so deeply buried that I wasn’t previously conscious of it.

    What your wrote about me there unsettles my composure…in a primally healthful way.

  71. Vicki says:

    This got me thinking more about our country’s “trump” controversies and polarization over all related issues. As the article says, “it wasn’t that people who couldn’t stand Trump decided they loved him when he took office – but they did start to dislike him a little less. ” “It is as though they can’t bear to continue feeling angry, so they subconsciously look for ways to convince themselves that it will all be okay.” Not “done deliberately. Instead, it’s a way of freeing up cognitive resources to get on with life. There simply isn’t time to be angry about everything.” Historically, “this psychological process could have had a dark side: it may have encouraged people to put up with regimes they strongly disagree with.”

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-surprising-reason-people-change-their-minds?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    • jackwaddington says:

      Vicki: Your comment and the site you cited got me a thinging also.
      I feel certain that all my opinions are rooted in old feelings and as such, I look at them from that perspective. But there is the factor the article noted about us changing our opinion/s and it was that part that got me assessing the “old Feeling” route.

      As I feel right now I have and do change my mind, opinion, and ideas, but still based on another old feeling that somehow supersedes the last one. So! fundamentally I am still holding onto my ‘old feeling’ opinion. (I hope that doesn’t sound contradictory).

      In the broader sense, I feel I need to encapsulate many of my idea within simple well thought-out notions. That way I am more able to live with the ideas and opinions I have. Surveys and statistics tend to bother me. That goes back to my early days when two friends of mine were studying statics which to me at the time was new. Averages and percentages don’t, I feel, really tell us that much. For that very same reason, I feel democracy is not a good idea for running an organization, much less a country.

      Jack

  72. Phil says:

    Vicki,
    That’s an interesting article. I disliked (hated?) Trump a lot from the time he first started running, even before that. I thought it was outrageous, unbelievable that anyone would vote for him
    After he took office I thought there was a slight possibility that he wouldn’t be as bad as expected.
    That was proven wrong; he’s worse than I could have imagined. So nothing has really changed for me.
    Phil

  73. Phil says:

    I had an unusual bad dream last night. I somehow entered into my mother’s coffin where it was buried in the ground. It was very cold, dark, and dead there, and I was hugely terrified. I don’t know what I was expecting to find. In the dream I was making a lot of noise being terrified, I worried I would wake my wife in bed with me (actually I was alone). Then, in my terrified state I went to hug my father who was somehow next to me in bed, but it turned out it wasn’t him, it was just a ball of bunched up bed covers. I think the dream covers a few things. First off, that I don’t like sleeping alone, I like someone with me, preferably my wife, and we’ve been having problems with that lately. Secondly, my father in general was not there for me for support around the sickness and loss of my mother. and although I remember nothing good about her; she seems to be the source of many of my issues, but it seems I still hoped for something, or there must have been good things and an attachment that I can’t recall. Another thing is, after my mother was gone, there were some years, maybe something like ages 8 or 9 to 11 or 12 when I slept in bed with my father. I’m not sure how or why that happened, as I did have my own bedroom and bed. I don’t think it was because I was scared, and jumped into bed with him. Something not so cool about it was he slept naked. At age twelve or so, my sister came back from her travels, and was outraged and even angry to learn about these sleeping arrangements. From that time on I slept in my own room, a different one upstairs, in what used to be her room, far from my father. She was right, I guess, and yet I feel, she was envious that I was close like that with our father, as I don’t believe, or remember, that she got much from him, and they didn’t get along so well.

    Phil

    • Sylvia says:

      Phil, that does sound like your sister was upset about more than she let on. I always thought other cultures were more natural in their sleeping arrangements. This article shows all you were missing in the bed was a dog and a visitor.
      https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/sleep/bed-sharing-co-sleeping-different-cultures/

      • Phil says:

        Sylvia,

        Interesting, those families all sleeping together like that is probably healthier. Maybe at retreats that’s what we should be doing.

        Phil

        • jackwaddington says:

          Phil: Ooops, that sounds like that it might trigger sexual desires. However, there is another way to look at what you wrote, and that is that dorm sleeping is a sort of sleeping together.

          If sleeping together is only for sleeping, then I suppose it could be healthy in one sense. I once slept with my father who came to London to see me, knowing I was having a difficult time and we shared the bed since it saved him going to a hotel. I don’t remember much about that night other than we we were sleeping in the same bed.

          Jack

    • Larry says:

      Seems like a lot happening in that dream Phil.

      Larry

    • Phil says:

      An update on my interpretation of this dream after some big feelings yesterday. I think it’s good for me to write about it here. In the dream my mind traveled into my mother’s coffin buried under the ground, and I was terrified with what I found there. The big feelings yesterday were about needing my mother. Although I can’t say I was feeling that in the dream, I think that’s what that was about, and that should have been obvious. In reality I was afraid of my mother a lot of times even before she was dead and buried, and that buried my need, along with how she behaved towards me, but it’s been getting resurrected by the therapy process. The second part of the dream still applies, my father wasn’t really there and couldn’t do the job of being both a father and a mother for me.
      This stuff comes up regularly but more strongly right now I think because of problems with my wife. She is upset because of a brief but nasty fight we had in early November. It’s frustrating and upsetting to me that she can’t get over that and is dragging it out, even after we’ve discussed it some more. She was trying to claim her problem was I don’t help much with cleaning the house. Which could be true, but it all started with our fight, which had nothing to do with cleaning, although that is an obsession of hers.
      Phil

      • Larry says:

        I’m glad you’re getting insights, Phil. Hopefully it will help you to see through the issues in your relationship with your wife.

        • jackwaddington says:

          Larry: I have looked through the blog to find my response where you were posted as Larry Gand I am unable to find it so I will post the first part, here again:-

          “Larry “Memories remind us that nothing lasts forever” Correct … hut there’s one better than memories and that is re-living. The problem there is that until fully re-lived and expressed then they are reverberating within us ‘forever’.

          “Time is precious and should not be wasted”. What constitutes ‘a waste of time’? Once I know that then I can move onto those that are supposedly not wasting time.

          “Enjoy life”. That’s impossible; UNLESS, you are able to enjoy misery. AND tell that to a baby screaming its head off in trauma.”

          The rest of the post was welcoming Larry

          Jack

      • jackwaddington says:

        Phil: Interesting dream, then feeling; it sounds very distressing for the little boy you were. The connection to your wife, I also can relate to. The way I resolved it, in particular since Jim is not a Primal person, was more to do with just listening to him rather than a discussion with him, then at the end of listening adding nothing about how it affected me.

        As I see it, it’s me trying to show my point in the situation that doesn’t resolve anything. So I am left with waiting until he’s out shopping and then having my feeling about what it is for me.

        Leastways, so far that seems to be working for me.

        Jack

        • Phil says:

          Jack,
          In those situations don’t you think it’s important that Jim knows how you feel? In our case, my wife isn’t saying much, her behavior is showing me how she feels.
          Phil

          • jackwaddington says:

            Phil: “No” to your question. Jim sees the world as it affects him, and I feel strongly that if I can keep my worst feelings towards him, that serves the relationship better, It’s easier for me to live with him, for he sure enough, cares about me on a lot of other levels.

            At this stage of my life, I also need him … and tell him so

            Jack

            • Phil says:

              Jack,
              The way that I see it, I do have to express how I feel directly to my wife, hopefully leaving out the part which is an old feeling. Otherwise, there is less of a chance that I will get what I want and need out of the relationship. The benefit for her is she can then see why I behave certain ways, which can then change things. The same for my wife telling me how she feels, so that I’m not left in the dark.
              Phil

              • Phil says:

                Jack, at least for me, not saying how I feel can be a kind of acting out behavior, especially when there’s something I’m hoping for, and not getting.
                Phil

                • jackwaddington says:

                  Phil: I agree that not having the feeling is a sort of act-out. In my case, I do my best to have the feeling in full … BUT I make a point of not having the feeling in his presence or earshot.

                  It doesn’t always work out that way, as there are moments when I can’t hold it back, but my experience is that it is not productive. Then the animosity between us continues. Such that at a later stage, I need to complete the whole thing on my own, without him hearing it.

                  Jack

              • jackwaddington says:

                Phil: If that is working for you, then my guess is your relationship will improve. I sure hope so for your sake.

                Jack

                • Phil says:

                  Jack, If our relationship won’t work under conditions where I express how I feel to my wife, then something is wrong with it, which may be the case. Nothing I’ve done recently has improved things.
                  Phil

  74. Larry says:

    I just want to share these simple few sentences I came across that say so much:

    Memories remind us that nothing lasts forever.
    Time is precious and should not be wasted.
    Enjoy life and remember, don’t count the days, make the days count.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Larry: I responded to the 4:26 pm reply thinking it was someone new, then when I checked on the blog itself, rather than the email, the gravitar was the same.
      I’m now confused.

      Jack

    • Larry says:

      Jack, the phrase that I shared was part of an image that I tried to copy and paste here but it can’t be done. Next I explored whether I would be able to share the image here through my Facebook account. I tried and it looks like it might be possible, but then I decided I didn’t want Facebook involved, so I cancelled the process and just typed here on the blog the phrase without the image.

  75. Phil says:

    Recent news is emphasizing how dangerous Trump is as president. He’s leading us into a totally unnecessary war with Iran. That in itself should be enough for impeachment. But Trump isn’t the only one. “Pompeo says God may have sent Trump to save Israel from Iran”
    Pompeo said that months ago. We have religious fanatics in charge encouraging Trump, including VP Pence, Attorney General Barr, and Secretary of State Pompeo. Help!. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47670717

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: I get the very same feeling about Trump and that he’s dangerous to all, not just Americans, but all of us

      As for playing to ‘the religious right’. I doubt Trump as an adult has ever gone to church. I find, for the most part, all religion is part of our neurosis. It sure helped my mother to keep clear of her pain.

      To set about to kill someone … on any pretext is NOT the way of Christianity. I don’t think one needs a degree in psychology to figure out where Trump is coming from.

      Jack

  76. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    I can relate to your frustration.
    I am curious as to how your wife responds or would respond when you ask her about what she feels or thinks, does she remain silent?
    wish you all the best, M

  77. Phil says:

    Margaret,
    No, she doesn’t remain silent. She’s still quite upset, and that shows when I try to get her to talk
    about what’s going on. It’s also clear that she doesn’t want to talk about it, but wants to go along as if it didn’t happen, but that doesn’t leave us relating properly. From past experiences we could continue like that for a long time. I’m trying to make clear to her that I’m unwilling to have that happen again.

    Phil

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, here is a summary of the argument we had in front of friends at our house in November. My wife was putting me down, I felt, while saying she saved us by getting her studying and becoming a teacher. I know that our friends have heard this story many times. I wasn’t in that conversation but overheard it, and then jumped in to add that I helped her a lot with getting the Masters classes, , by proof reading her papers and making corrections, and at least one time writing the whole thing. That made her very upset because I guess it ruined her narrative. I wasn’t trying to diminish her accomplishments, but put that in because of what she was saying about me. It kind of refers back to earlier things which happened between us which haven’t been completely resolved.
      Phil

      • Phil says:

        I made some mistakes in that last message. “Getting” should be removed from two sentences., it should read, “by her studying and becoming a teacher”. and “I helped her a lot with the Masters classes’..

  78. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    it does not sound as if you said something that hurtful really.
    sounds like there is some very sensitive spot in her that got touched almost accidentally, but of course I don’t know at all, just an impression.
    maybe it could help her if she would want to have a talk with Barry, but right now that might be a very dangerous suggestion to make by the sound of it.
    you have made efforts to communicate which is all you can do probably at this point.
    wishing you all the best sincerely, M

  79. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    it does not sound as if you said something that hurtful really.
    sounds like there is some very sensitive spot in her that got touched almost accidentally, but of course I don’t know at all, just an impression.
    maybe it could help her if she would want to have a talk with Barry, but right now that might be a very dangerous suggestion to make by the sound of it.
    you have made efforts to communicate which is all you can do probably at this point.
    wishing you all the best sincerely,.. M

  80. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    and of course I have no clue about the tone of voice of the discussion, as that can send all kind of messages regardless of the relative innocence of words.
    M

  81. Leslie says:

    Phil – it truly is sad to read your account of the argument. Hard to imagine that even if at the time your wife was not able to stop her story and acknowledge your help in her getting her degree & credentials – that later on and even now she has not apologized and given you that due credit. Somehow, its as if it takes something away from her victory.
    I could not have completed my degree without Barry’s help in doing all that he did, as you did.
    Not to mention the time, patience and energy in both of us helping one another @ different times in our lives.
    L

    • Phil says:

      Leslie, I’m discouraged about this, as we aren’t doing well. I’m going to add a few more details to the story. Juana is also upset because she feels I exaggerated my role in helping her with her Masters degree, in that exchange in front of our friends. By I thought we corrected that, and agreed, right in that moment.
      She didn’t like it that I brought it up at all. After that she made a comment that she became a teacher, but I didn’t. A way of emphasizing her achievement, and that I couldn’t do it. And it is a great achievement for her. I had also tried making a career transition to teaching about 5 years after Juana started full time teaching, because I was having employment problems. I only had two more classes to complete, but there were quite a few other things I needed to become a certified teacher. Ultimately, as I was in front of students, I decided it wasn’t going to work for me, nor did I think I would be hired. A job came up for me in clinical lab testing, my long time occupation, so I dropped the idea of also becoming a teacher. It was a bad idea to begin with, and I should have known better, because I never liked school myself. I was trying to force it to work. I’m just not somebody to stand in front of students to be talking for hours, and I didn’t have any skill controlling them, and I didn’t enjoy it.. So that comment of hers, that I didn’t become a teacher didn’t bother me.
      I’m afraid she wasn’t at all helpful and supportive for me as I went through the stress of unemployment, I guess because it gave her stress too. She is still resentful about that, even though I supported her the first 11 years we were married. These are some of our big issues.
      Phil

      • Larry says:

        As you tell them, they do seem big to me, Phil. It mattered to me that most of the time my spouse was proud of me, and vice versa.

        • jackwaddington says:

          Larry: Not to deny you your feelings towards Noreen, but in my case:- I’m not proud of my spouse (if that is what Jim is), but I sure am very grateful that he cares for me so much, and makes getting old; bearable.

          Jack

      • Leslie says:

        Still sorry to hear Phil…Sounds stingy on her part to deny your input way back then. Wonder why she begrudges sharing the limelight with you even as you both created your life together & raised your sons…
        Must be so hard to have her not want to explore this to improve what you have together.

  82. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: Am I just imagining it or are things around the world getting worse … if so, is there a way to change it all?

    Jack

    • David says:

      Jack, 40 years ago I still has at least 50% of the answers…. I recall a song lyric lie, “.. in the good old days when times were bad,” It’s kind of a religion in itself, isn’t it ? The past tense of hope, the notion things were ever really great. I am concerned where it is now. I watched a video on , a, ” barn raising.” A barn fell to a tornado. The neighbours gathered, cleaned up the mess, a great feast was prepared and a new barn raised, ( a beeeg barn,) and, a barn dance ensued. Didn’t see any non whitey folks. But that was community in action. My younger son’s paternity leave has ended, he’s back teaching at university. His wife returns to her private studio in Feb and their beautiful 14 mo old son will be off to day care. I cry privately for him, for them. They love each other, seem to be amazing parents. That’s the world in miniature, I think. A lack of understanding of connectivity, from the point of need; lots of points of view, as plentiful as the shelves full of commissions and studies, and about as much use. A friend had an epiphany last year, resulting in that he would try to treat others, not as he wished to be treated, but as they wanted and needed to be treated. I realize it will take a lot of filling in the blanks to try to fit that in with an answer to your question, oh revered sage saith me sated on my humble pie… (:
      Whaaaat, Gretchen….no emoticons nor emogees..

      • jackwaddington says:

        David: My question was rhetorical, in that I do have my answer in my head, which I feel everyone who reads this blog, knows about.
        I feel it’s worth repeating some of it again. I personally don’t need a leader, a culture, a belief system, merely my gut feeling that I was born with. I see most conflicts taking place as I see on the news and read on the internet, as being act-outs by these ‘so-called’ leaders. They are into their own heads and egos, pretending they are for the people. No one human is capable of knowing the sentiments, or wishes of any other person in-spit of polls and questionnaires.

        Therein is the problem. SO!!!! how do we get beyond all this “brain-washing” called politics of left and/or right, or as the bible puts it:- righteousness or wrongteousness.

        Simple:- Abolish it all. and the glue that holds it all in place:- an exchange system. This for that. “I’ll give you this IF you’ll give me that”
        The problem for most of us with that notion is:- it scares the hell out of us … little realizing, that, that fear (terror, horror) relates to our past … and only has ‘triggers’ for us in the present.

        I hope that makes some sense to you David.

        Jack

        • jackwaddington says:

          Correction: I stated:- “of any other person in-spit of polls and questionnaires.” should have read:- “of any other person in-spite of polls and questionnaires.”

          Jack

        • David says:

          I believe I had a clear understanding of the question, Jack. I have considerable respect for your shared thoughts. I am notorious for taking things seriously, and my attempt to add some levity in my comment was apparently clumsy and not apparent. An emerging sense of humour seems to be one of the few gifts , ‘old age,’ has afforded me. (: Pulling my professional and personal experience, there is little evidence ,” things,” were ever very good. I once researched a history of human violence for a friend teaching Clinical Psychology at Acadia University. I was left wondering with all of that inhumanity coding our cells if there was any hope. One near past bit that freaked me out was the, ” good,” , white,”,” christian folk,” selling their excess children into slavery, at 3 Maritime locations, twice yearly. They called it , ” indenturing,” but it was clear slavery, labour, prostitution, slaughter. They described their child offerings like other cattle for sale.
          To quote ecologist, Dr. David Suzuki, ” It’s like we’re heading towards a wall at breakneck speed, one foot on the brake the other on the accelerator.” Growing up in rural Nova Scotia, I do remember community. It was waning even then. There is little evidence now that it ever existed. I believe it has gotten much worse and if it’s ever to be turn aroundable I cannot think it will happen in my lifetime.
          Swedish ecologist, Greta Thunberg’s, mission, eloquence, and bravery moves me deeply. But those who benefit, powerwise, from the continued miseries, far outnumber her band of cadres. I expect they will, as always, assassinate their initiative. I hope I am wrong and that a great humanitarian social movement is afoot. I hope I am totally mistaken and that, ” things,” are not and have never been as bad as I believe.

          • jackwaddington says:

            David: It was good to read your reply and I feel sure you understand my POV.
            It is those that feel the changes are minimal, that worries me. Not for me personally as I’m on the very last lap of life, BUT I worry for the upcoming generations and the future of humanity. I do have nephews and nieces that now have children and some of those are almost ready to have their own children.

            The denial by many of us is perhaps the scariest, but understanding their denial does not help the world of us humans. There is no way, as I see it, of educating them either. The ‘conceptual leap’ is far too great.
            Primal therapy will never be available to the masses either. So!!! where do we go from here? I have my idea, but I doubt my idea or others of like mind, will convince the masses either.

            I contend all we need is to put the idea out there and let it mature and only then will it evolve, then others catch on,,, mainly due to seeing the current system is NOT working out for us. Then with the idea being out there, hopefully, we’ll at least give it a try. Nothing so far in terms of fixes seems to have worked out for us.

            Jack

            • David says:

              An early mentor suggested to me ,” Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” The end of the box box stores is happening, mom and pop shops, butcher shops, farm gate shops; small radio and tv stations are gaining. The small town where I attended high school had 2 rather small grocers, and 3 convenience stores, 3 restaurants, 2 banks. 2 big box grocers crowded out the 2 small grocers; now, 2 too Big Box grocers, 5 convenience stores, 7 restaurants, 4 banks, serving a population diminished by more than 50 %. Like HF that doesn’t compute on any logic scale. When the big box stores first opened they had enough employees to make a movie, now, skeleton crews. Investment news claims that Walmart will shift to on line retail completely within 6 years, 63 % of stores closed in 2019. Well, mail order, was the retail service to rural areas. Not really different. I’m just rambling now Jack,so…later, gator..

            • David says:

              Reread your reply, and, yeah, I agree, putting the idea out there, is the only response. A friend, now passed, had that conversation, by letter, with Art. He believed quality control, was fine but in the extreme would be the death of PT, which he believed was the only viable treatment model. He believed Art should have gifted PT to the world and encouraged others to take up the practice. He believed that as in all things the wags would be turfed, the , ” chaff,” he called them; the , ” cream,” would rise to the top.” And, he wrote, ” Surely the most lack lustre would be better than the status quo that has let down and endangered the mental health patients it is supposed to serve.”

              • jackwaddington says:

                David:- ” I agree, putting the idea out there, is the only response. ” … then from there permitting the idea to mature.

                “He (your mentor)believed Art should have gifted PT to the world and encouraged others to take up the practice. “. Not sure he’s right but only time MIGHT tell. I feel as Fred mentions there is a great danger of just letting someone PRACTICE this therapy without adequate training, from an experienced therapist. It took me a long time to be a good listener that I can now use in buddying … without putting my ‘oar’ in.

                Jack

                • David says:

                  Art waded into unchartered waters with a Masters degree in social work, ethically and successfully, developing primal theory and practice. One of my friend’s, post ‘ primal, ‘ patients went on to be a therapist at Art’s New York Primal clinic. I appreciate and admire the great care the PI takes in the care and safety of patients. I did my social work internship at a psychiatric hospital which was fraught with criminally chargeable professional misconduct towards patients. But protected. My own complaints resulted in being told to keep my head down, my mouth shut, or be disqualified from my placement. My friend’s first patients were the tragic resultants of conventional mental health, reclassified as, ” chronic;” write-offs; who though the primal approach regained health, independence, and productivity. Like you I jealously guard Primal Therapy. But I must question if it could have become much more, at least a choice in every State and Province. I believe it’s notorious success is the only explanation for the assassins still having their knives out 50 years later. That is the reception every healing art that doesn’t practice from a prescription pad faces. ” Pseudoscience,” and, ” Quackery,” are two of the nicest names the medical industry tosses at it.

  83. Margaret says:

    I received an e-mail from the nursing home a few days ago, to let me know they were advised by the hospital to administer my mom a baster of Aclasta, a medicine against osteoporosis.
    I would need to give my consent first and sign a paper before .
    I did look up the medication on the web and felt worried about all the possible side effects and contra-indications.
    patients with kidney problems should not take it, patients with heart fibrillation should not take it, and patients with teeth that aren’t in good shape should not take it.
    at first it was not clear whether my mom had had that medication during her stay in the hospital last summer, where she had had a complete kidney failure and heart fibrillation, so I wondered if that had been caused by this medication in the first place.
    later I found out mom had not had it so far, but I only found that out recently.
    so I was a bit stressed, as I could not get hold of her regular doctor until today.
    talking with my brother learned me he felt very inclined to refuse it, but I needed to find out more as I did not want to decide without having all the information.
    so today I could finally talk with her doctor, who at first reassured me mom’s kidneys are again in good shape, and that her heart is ok as well.
    but then I brought up the dental risks, the medication can cause necrosis of the lower jaw, dying off of the jaw really, a lot of pain, infections and teeth falling out.
    the doctor asked me about the state of mom’s teeth, and in her lower jaw she has still remaining parts of teeth which she refuses to go to a dentist for as they would have to cut them out etc.
    so the doctor said that certainly was a contra indication, minimally a dentist should check that first in case the medication would be administered.
    then the doctor told me she had indeed already had a patient who, from the medication, had had the starting necrosis of a jaw, a lot of misery really, and six months of continuous antibiotics.
    so she agreed with me it might be best to just not give the treatment at this point.
    mom takes daily doses of calcium and vitamins, and her fracture has healed surprisingly well so far, so I am relieved the decision has been made this way and that I actually was able to detect possible complications that might have occurred without me double checking.
    my brother was glad to hear about the conclusion as well, and I feel a weight is off my shoulders.
    of course as mom will regain more mobility from now on, the risk of her falling and having new injuries gets bigger again, but that is part of life, preferable to fixating her in a wheelchair forever etc. instead of with physiotherapy helping her to regain her capacity to walk and move around more freely again.
    but again this illustrates how it is often necessary to be on top of things and to look for information and to communicate over and over with medical and nursing staff.
    in this case it is a good thing they do need my consent for a lot of decisions.
    glad the stress is dissipating now…
    M

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: I too grapple with these kinds of questions, but for the most part I take Jim’s word for it. Always when seeing the doctor I ask a lot of these questions.

      It’s all part of growing old; none of us live forever. That said, for me, it’s how pleasant life is,, on a day to day basis. For now, with Jim taking care of me, that is all I need, but there is always the possibility that Jim also will become ill and/or even die before me. Should the latter happen, I’m not sure I would want to continue to live, but I don’t want to commit suicide either. Best I know how I would just let myself die, but even that poses some problems:- like our home and what money remains in the bank.

      We’re both contemplating making another will, to update the old one we made in California.

      So! I can relate to both your concerns and what concerns your mother has.

      Jack

      P.S. are you going to the retreat this next Thursday?

  84. Phil says:

    Leslie,
    I have scheduled a joint session for us, which she agreed to without hesitation, which is good news. So we’ll see what happens. Ideally I wish she’d do her own therapy, put she hasn’t been interested in that so far..

    Phil

    • Leslie says:

      Wonderful news Phil! It feels so good to both be heard – and to truly listen to the other person with someone you can trust there to help.
      L

  85. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    that sounds like good news, glad for you, and for her of course.
    M

  86. FRED says:

    January 14, 2020

    I can’t receive regular updates. It has something to do with AOL mail.

    I’ve been AWOL from the blog for three months. I’ve done a couple individuals at the Institute in that time. Always I believe the Primal Institute does a great service to humanity.
    The calendar says it’s a new year and decade. Our years are based on the birth of Christ. We know that Christ wasn’t born 01/01/0000. I saw a good YouTube that put Jesus’ birth in 4 B.C.

    I believe the Primal Institute should prepare for the future; I hope there is an ongoing program. After all it’s not 1998 when I attended a public seminar at Dr. Janov’s International Primal Center called “Primal Therapy in the Millennium”.

    I think people who feel the “calling” should consider getting the necessary requirements for the state of California to practice therapy. I don’t know them but I’m thinking either an MFT or M.A. in psychology. Hopefully, the Institute has a training program. I believe Dr. Janov’s still does. The torch must be passed on.

    I know for myself, however, to be honest; I would chafe a little at having my therapist be 40 and my being 70. Who knows though? Sometimes younger people can manifest a type of wisdom and much older patients might trust them.

    Obviously, I’m not a regular on the blog. Sometimes I wish I were but my life’s path has taken me in unexpected paths. I will try to be a bit more regular and keep up with suffering humanity a bit more. I do like to stir things up (did not Art stir things up in the psychological establishment big time?). On this matter, I was a journalism major at university of Oklahoma. I was supposed to graduate in 1971. However, I was more than a year behind and my draft deferment ended due to changing majors. I was not afraid of being sent to the rice paddies of Southeast Asia because Nixon signed a bill ending the Draft, summer of 1971. Free of the fear of going to the (illegal) Vietnam War, I kind of dropped out. I read the Primal Scream summer of 1971. I did take a couple classes, fall of 1971 but my principal focus was Primal Therapy. Long story short I did the therapy 1973-74.

    In therapy I learned the difference between a “primal” and, what Janov called, “abreaction”.

    I returned to Oklahoma summer of 1974 and helped raise my sister’s children. I also got a job as a janitor on campus and resumed my studies in journalism fall, 1974. As a reporter I interviewed a psychologist in Norman, OK about Primal Therapy. She said it was legitimate but warned against self-primaling. Nevertheless, I felt like she was threatened but who knows?

    In order to continue to stir things up, here is my imagining the channeling for the new year of Arthur Janov, Part 6

    __________________________________________________________________________

    Profound New Year to all

    It was an understatement in a way when I stated that conditions of one’s birth color one’s daily reality.

    What occurs in birthing into the three dimensional reality is an entire incipient world-view. It basically needs only for the individual to reach the age of 12 and-a-half or so, when these “instructions” hold sway more than they don’t. Then, over the next 12 and-a-half years there is a maturing and growth.

    The conditions of one’s birth were predetermined, in your terms, telepathically. You have free will, of course.

    Suffering should teach one not to suffer. I’m afraid to tell you but I think you already know. The long term “cure” (my word) for suffering is to integrate it.

    All disease is emotional, thus if you are feeling the emotional information that makes up the suffering, you are allowing the body-psyche to free more energy to healing.

    This is hardly revolutionary, really.

    Much is said in the Primal community about the “Feeling Child” or “inner child”, yet it is the nexus to other worlds, to the vast untapped resources of healing. I cannot emphasize enough the intricate, knowing purity of the tsunami of healing within.

    I said this last time: “You have strands of feeling-convictions that, if followed, will lead you into unchartered territories. Following them often leads to the classical primaling”.

    Unchartered territories indeed with the concomitant slathering on of a grounded feeling of well-being. To quote Yoko: “we lost our true wisdom, now we live in despair”.

    I said also: “There is no practical limit on experience actually but, nevertheless you insist on your limitations”.

    Consider. You got nothing to lose but some of your lost-ness of true wisdom.

    Say, you are in group and you say “I am blocked”. Really you aren’t. You have the feeling-idea “I am blocked”. Primal THAT!

    I did not make adequate plans. I did the “easy” stuff. My storehouse of endorphins eventually ran low.

    Make a plan.

    Baby steps at first, then infant, then, early childhood…you get the sequence, I’m sure.

    Make sure you include having your feelings, expanding that ability.

    Make short-term, mid-term, “long-term” plans in various arenas of your life with reachable goals. Who knows? You might live as long as Enoch!

    • jackwaddington says:

      Fred:- “The Primal Institute should prepare for the future” Best I know, I feel both the Institute and the Center are training as many as they can, they feel are good candidates.

      “I do like to stir things up (did not Art stir things up in the psychological establishment big time?)” I agree that Janov stirred things up in the mental health profession, but sadly they dismissed it when Art stated only he and his staff were capable of training, AND he had a good point; demonstrated IMO as you stated about The Feeling Therapy organization.

      “In therapy, I learned the difference between a “primal” and, what Janov called, “abreaction”.” I too learned that, but I saw it as an acting-out

      “The long term “cure” (my word) for suffering is to integrate it. “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” My take also

      “I’m just rambling now Jack,so…later, gator..” I will in a while, crocodile; meantime, ramble all you like. You reveal quite a lot by these ramblings IMO. I suggest you come onto the blog more often and tell us more about yourself. You’ve mentioned so many interesting things just today in 5 postings.
      Yes Fred; I would love a .PDF file of Carol Mithers’ book, if you’re are able to do that. The only other way would be to order it online.
      Granted that would be complicated, first by scanning the book then using some software like Microsoft’ Office, then creating a .PDF file, rather than printing.

      Jack

      • Phil says:

        Jack, I agree with Fred that “Therapy Gone Mad”, by Carol Mithers, is a really interesting book. I’ve read it several times and enjoyed it each time. It doesn’t get things exactly right where it describes primal therapy, but that’s to be expected.
        As far as I know, and what I’ve heard, there are no new therapists being trained at the Primal Center, and if someone’s being trained at the PI, that’s news to me.
        I thought the last training program at the Primal Center ended years ago. They do sell the “Legacy Program”, an extensive set of videos which outlines how the therapy works. I’m afraid that all the interest and demand is for newer therapies like EMDR, somatic experiencing, various kinds of CBT, and a whole host of other methods. But the problem is at least getting a lot of attention with the realization that so many people have PTSD, and a recognition of complex PTSD (C-PTSD) or developmental trauma.
        Phil

        • jackwaddington says:

          Phil: I am really interested to read the book, but I kind of know what it’s about. Should I need to quote from it, is my main reason to read it.

          I do not actually know if either the Institute or Center is training anyone, but I would hope that there are some in training from either place. I feel no-where else would be truly able to train anyone. The danger is always breakaway centers/institutes, might have good intentions, but are still neurotic enough to bring in their own ‘old feelings’. I contend Janov saw just that and attempted to guard against it.

          My real concern is that before all the therapists are retired or dead, there is a way found to prevent neurosis in the first place. Therein there would be no need for Primal therapy. A hope that I too, feeling, may not happen.

          My idea for that to happen is via ‘Anarchy’ is merely just that:- my idea, contention, opinion; BUT I feel it is worth contemplating. I personally don’t see any other way.

          Jack

          • Phil says:

            Jack,
            The Center for Feeling Therapy evolved into a cult, and that is well known. but what’s so interesting in the book is the story of how that happened.
            That’s an outstanding case, but otherwise how can we tell if any therapy center or therapist is neurotic or not. There’s no objective measurement, it seems to be mostly a judgement call for anyone to make.
            Scientists say the universe is moving continually towards entropy, which is randomness or disorder (anarchy), maybe that is reassuring for you.

            Phil

            • jackwaddington says:

              Phil: “otherwise how can we tell if any therapy center or therapist is neurotic or nott are easily recognizable”
              I feel strongly disagree. Anyone having done a substantial amount of Primal therapy can see the defensiveness, denial, and compulsiveness of people who are neurotic to whatever degree. The reason these other therapies/therapists do not ‘cut it’ is, via these characteristics.

              The problem is mainly, as I see it, from people entering these therapies, knowing little of what the process is.

              The fundamentals of Primal therapy is that the patient is the one that knows. Any therapy that tells their patient what is wrong with them or tells them how to correct their behaviors, is anathma to the whole of the Primal theory and therapy.

              It would have been easy for Art Janov, after seeing ‘Danny Wilson’ go through his reliving by explaining to Danny, what had happened. Janov did NOT do that and therein ensued the ACTUAL discovery, then the therapy.

              Jack

              • Phil says:

                Jack, You would know what to look for having had success with the therapy. But for others who haven’t, it may not be so easy. That’s why a lot of people ended up being abused at “The Center for Feeling Therapy.”

                Phil

              • theultimateguru says:

                As much as Janov’s writings irritated me & left me running to Vivian’s place instead, I do have genuine concerns about the Primal movement dying off since Phil has said there are no new therapists in training anymore. I’ve done too much crying to shrug off the grave possibility of the entire movement disappearing, for I’m sure I have plenty more crying to do during the right moments.
                No new therapists in training is a terribly concerning sign given the labor-intensiveness of facilitating primals

                • David says:

                  No sarcasm intended, but which, ‘christ,’ would that have been. The mythological one as head of christianity, according to the deciphered Hebrew manuscripts is a compilation of 3 ,’ christs,’ including ,’ christ the levitator,’ whom ‘ jesus, brother James,’ is implicated in stalking and turning his disciples against him, ending in a fatal stoning. A newer cult springing from the original church of the nazarene preaches that the christian church figurehead, jesus, is actually satan and he named satan the real jesus. A new twist on an old myth, eh? But who was born, where, when, to whom is where you were going.

                • jackwaddington says:

                  Guru: If my gut feeling is correct, then I feel the Primal notion, (the triad) will be revived and maybe, just maybe, will get more scrutiny from the medical and mental health professions.

                  I also feel there will be some very sincere person to warn against abusing it. by the abuser thinking they know better than the patient. I feel strongly, that if abuse occurs, those being abused will speak out about it and persuades any potential abuser from going in that direction … normally for the purpose of monetary gain.

                  It is the monetary gain that causes 95% of all abuse, crime and even other types of gain/s.

                  I hope my feeling is correct. I sure would be interested in feedback from you, or anyone else.

                  Jack

                  • theultimateguru says:

                    I honestly don’t know what more I can say about this, at least for now. I do remember blogging with Phil a long while back about the Center for Feeling Therapy debacle & Phil bringing up the “Therapy Gone Mad” book about what happened.
                    Primal never took over the world because of the inherent unpleasantness and the TONS and TONS of one-on-one or small group work it can take to try to send a person off to a better life on his or her own.
                    I never experienced any significant therapist abuse (or if I did it was very mild), so I can’t really comment wisely there.
                    It does seem as though you are leading back to love of money being the root of evil and money should be abolished, as per usual.

                    • theultimateguru says:

                      I did have a really terrible substance abuse therapist once. In her world everything I thought was wrong and the 12 step program was the only way to salvation. By the time I finished with her (thankfully only an hour), I felt as though a mobster had put my head in a vise and turned the crank as hard as he could!

                    • jackwaddington says:

                      Guru: If it looks that way (to you), it sure ain’t mine. It has been gotten in my way all my life and when I first went to that lecture in London at age 25 on ‘Democracy’, was the moment for me that I began to look at what I took for granted, a lot more seriously. My very first was on realizing I was gay.

                      It’s just that every time I directly mention “abolishing money” I don’t get the results that I would like or hope for … so I’ve accepted that, and now I come to it from a different angle … knowing (now) that going down ‘the same rabbit hole and expecting a different result’, never work as far as I can see.

                      Just as with many that I turned onto reading “The Primal Scream”, most were unmoved by it. Even in Ibiza among other hippies who’d already made a shift in their thinking by rejecting the established way of life.

                      I can only conclude that most of us (normally) will do our best to avoid pain. Therein is the conundrum.

                      Thanks for your response Guru.

                      Jack

                    • David says:

                      After graduation, while waiting for a social work position to become available, ( I was hired on paper but there was no money in the budget for a salary,) I worked at a GM dealership. The difference between the entry level pickup and the top offering was an automatic transmission, $ 100.00, dealer cost, and a plastic plate, free to the dealership, which said, ‘SUPERCAB’.  For which the customer paid an extra $ 1750.00. The price of status.I have read the papers of people professionally cited to be the best financial minds who each offered a formulas for ending financial poverty by providing a dignified level of income for every adult citizen, single, couple, with and without children. And every paper concluded that by abandoning the draconian individual income revenue policing system, by having an at deposit taxing and remitting process, a 1% tax on the amount above the dignified income level, governments would have more tax dollars in the coffers and citizens had the potential for dignified living.Medical care, even in the very flawed concept, ( I prefer to be able to choose my provider, allopath, chiro, naturopath,)treatment cost, dental care, eye care, free to all, would lower health care costs. But it will cut into the wealth of the entrenched, and largely non efficacious, entrenched corporations that choose our governments. For that reason, it will have to be wrenched from the clutches of the incumbents. I believe that the main foe of Primal Therapy is the balance sheet and total monopoly of those same businesses.  We do not provide the PI with weekly or monthly income for the rest of our lives after PT, nor contribute to the engorged purses of those corporate predators.I’m pretty much ok, most of the time. And, thanks to PT I KNOW I was born 100% unmarred potential and injured by victimization. I feel sadness for myself for the remaining tentacles that diminish my quality of life, but I do not feel guilty.I cared for my 90 year old father everyday when he was palliative, 6 am – 11 pm. I believe he was kind to me when I was a baby. He liked babies. When I was 11 he put it into words that I was not the son he wanted.  My narcissistic brother, the favourite, went off to his winter home in Florida. The other narcissist, professional, too, and equally as corrupt visited once, the night our father died.I lost it after several weeks, listening to my father extol the superior qualities and accomplishments of my brother, and said, where is he, dad, I’m here, what about me. The impact was like hitting him with a hammer. And I felt like a shit. It was not the time to say that.  Thank you PI and PT, my decency is intact.    

                    • jackwaddington says:

                      David: Quite revealing about you and your relationship with your dad, but not enough love to make life something to enjoy as you went through it.

                      Watching the news twice a day on CNN TV, makes me realize, all is not well in the human world, but how to fix it, never seems to be talked about, except for just tweaking here and there, around the edges.

                      However, there is one bright spot. It’s that feelings are now being talked about more often and there was a surprising interview by Christian Amanpour, with a female writer who wrote, some time ago, on girls, and now she’s written another book about boys. The revelation she came to was that boys were never allowed to be emotional and girls were always supposed to be subservient to men/boys.

                      I have the feeling that Janov’s work is beginning to percolate through about the effects of trauma.

                      Jack

          • FRED says:

            You can probably get book on amazon cheap.

        • FRED says:

          Maybe this is a SIGN that someone ought to maybe REALLY “buckle down” and, to an extent, re-think a bit or two of Primal Theory, practice. Then one should move to California, if not already here, get a an MFT or whatever Masters required in order to become a Primal Therapist. Maybe the Institute and/or Center can create an endowment to help with tuition

          There is TOO MUCH at stake to allow all Janov’s work to peter out. I know the IPA is trying to keep the flame alive.

          I might think about doing it myself. Get cheapest dadgummed MA possible, maybe online.

          I went to the Center last last year. They’re still going on. I believe Ms. Janov has at least temporarily stepped back. I talked the receptionist there and she is from France also. I had met her a couple of other times, in 2015 and 2016 when I brought Dr. Janov a birthday present in August, right before his birthday. For some reason I didn’t in 2017. He died a few months later, as you know.

          • theultimateguru says:

            Fred, does Trump University possibly offer an MFT or Masters program needed for Primal work?

            • theultimateguru says:

              I should have typed ‘a MFT’. The phonetics of the letter ‘M’ seduced me into carelessly typing ‘an’.

            • FRED says:

              I actually don’t find your sarcasm funny. It’s fine but we are talking about REAL stuff here, not someone’s perceptions about a COMPLETELY irrelevant subject.

              If I do say so myself, I’ve benefitted quite a bit from what I learned in Primal Therapy. It very much colored by path. When my dad died in 1977, my ability to access feelings made so much of a difference.

              That said, I was always troubled by a few things which I later determined were in Primal Theory. I posted on this subject. My questions expanded my path. Ask and you shall receive worked. My SOUL was crying out. The “universe” provided almost EVERYTHING I need to synthesize seemingly disparate psychologies, philosophies, etc.

              Now, with a generation of unmoored and self-indulgent humans, I BELIEVE 100 percent that there is a place for Primal Therapy.

              I had an insight only yesterday. We are all rushing through life. This behavior began probably before birth and became more entrenched afterwards (see also “The Primal Scream” by Arthur Janov, PhD). It may VERY well be the flotsam and jetsam of repression. This ongoing partial-flight mode may actually be the CAUSE of aging. Get it? We flee through time and we age while maybe, just maybe the neonate perceives time as a psychological phenomenon, that is, a construct of this dimension. It may ACTUALLY be that Enoch of the Bible (and the non-Biblical “Book of Enoch” which is only in the Orthodox Ethiopian Bible) actually did live to be 1000 and then simply willed himself out of his body.

              O, ye of such little faith!; or to quote Graham Nash (“Chicago, 1971”) “we can change the world”.

      • FRED says:

        i will look for the magazine. It is in cabinet. Also there was an article on a play performed in Pacific Palisades in the free Malibu Magazine. The name of play was “Primal Scream” I think, about 5 years ago. I gave one copy to Barry, Will look for that. My email fw28@AOL.com

        • jackwaddington says:

          Fred: Thanks for the reply you made to mine. Yes, I went to that ‘musical’ with my buddy, who paid for both of us. I met and shook hands with him. Just prior to that he’d read my 2nd book and given it a short but favorable crit.

          Take care, Fred.

          Jack

          • FRED says:

            I LOVE it! Was ole Art beaming with pride?

          • FRED says:

            You have my email. Contact me and I will try to scan what I can. You sent me your communist manifesto back in 2018. I still have on PDF. My favorite article on PTh is the GREAT piece in Rolling Stone, circa Feb 1971. I’m betting that is findable online. I also have it. Now that was pretty good reporting, coming from a guy who got a j-degree but didn’t get along with people so I got smart and got an acctg degree whilst in my 30s, returning as a serious adult student in the US of A. That said, at 70 y/o I STILL don’t know what I want to do in life. I figure I still got time. Maybe lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of time, if Enoch is true. Long ago I stopped subscribing to consensus reality. It’s lonlier but fewer people bug me.

            Basically, “damn the torpedos, damn the medical profession, damn the ruling class with its deep state, damn the media (my former profession!), damn the avaricistic agricultural industry that feeds steroids and antibiotics to animals and all the rest of the crimes.

            They have all sold their soul and what Jesus said:

            “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

            I can dig it!

            Let me know by email. I will try to scan.

  87. jackwaddington says:

    To all you ‘treaters’: I wish you all the best for the retreat and that most of you get what you went there for.

    I’ll be thinking of you from time to time over these next four days.

    Meanwhile, some interesting posts on the blog this Wednesday morning. I will respond to some of them later … off right now to the hospital for one of those scans done by the CAT 🙂 🙂 .

    Jack

  88. jackwaddington says:

    Hi Everyone: Back from the hospital; the whole trip being something of a: nightmare … literally, since I had to get up at 5:30am, in the dark, get dressed, washed and then make breakfast, then get my scoot mobile out, unfold it, drive to the park gate and wait for the taxi. It was a cold as all (I was about to say:- “hell” then realized it is supposed to be bruising hot, down there 🙂 ). The hospital is about 7 miles from where we live.

    The taxi duly arrived, then sped off without us which meant phoning the company, getting it to turn back, but eventually getting to the hospital on time. No problem in the C T scanner except they had to do it twice as I was apparently wearing something metal.

    By that time daylight had arrived, so then, I scooted back to the main entrance, with Jim in tow, phoned the taxi company, to take us back home. 😦 😦 .

    Phew!!! it was not pleasant. The next two visits before the end of the month are at a later time; thanks be to Godo.

    Jack

    • Larry says:

      I hope the scan results alleviate any worries Jack.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: Thanks for your concern. Actually, I’m not worried; Jim is more worried than I am. I have long been able to take whatever comes my way, my only I hope is it’s not too painful. Since Jim is a medical technician he tends to take these things more seriously than I do. Ever since I was conscripted into the Army in the medical corps I have never had that much faiths in doctors and particularly since my mother used herbal cures with us as kids; seeing a doctor was only on rare occasions when I fractured my wrist or, gashed my eyebrows slipping on to a rock with my head, bathing in a stream. The only other time I remember was when getting measles and chickenpox

        Death is the end of life, and I’ve no delusions about life after death … which is a contradiction in terms.

        If you are at the retreat, I hope it’s going well for you, as I believe you are

        Take care Larry

        Jack

  89. David says:

    I’ve been participating, even if for periods just following, not commenting, on this blog for 8 years. I just read, ” Guru’s” post that there are no longer therapists in training at the PI ? Is that the same for Art’s LA clinic ? Even though it’s been 32 years, and I likely will never be in a financial position to return to therapy, the thought of the collapse of PT terrifies me. There’s no fucking hope if it does

  90. jackwaddington says:

    Hi, all you retreaters: I hope for you all of you, you can come from this retreat with a better ability to express your feelings more easily, are able to make life a little easier.

    I thought about you all quite a bit.
    Even if it would have been easy for me to get there, I doubt I would have wanted to go, as my traveling days are over. I really am beginning to feel I’m on the last lap of life. It’s not particularly sad, though I do have some worries about the future, both for me personally and also for humanity. Maybe there is some old feeling component in that, but my real concern is also a present one.

    All the protest going on around the world and Brexit in particular for me, I feel lots of these protest are somewhat misplaced in that deep down, anyone of us wants to be told what we can and cannot do, We’re all of us humans, capable of figuring it out for ourselves, and thus it is governing and governments (authorities) that are the real problem … BUT, there I go again!

    I Hope this Sunday (I assume is the lasts day of the retreat), you’re all able to take something back home from your experiences of the last four days.

    Jack

    • jackwaddington says:

      Correction: the penultimate paragraph, the third phrase should Have read: “not anyone of us wants to be told what we can and cannot do,”.

      Jack

    • FRED says:

      January 22, 2020

      You are a good soul yet we disagree about SO much but that’s all right, that’s okay and as they used to say at the high school football games fall 1965 and 1966 “we still love you anyway”.

      Of COURSE, we survive death. We are energy. Our consciousness is ENERGY. I’m not getting into this.

      However, I SPECIFICALLY remember a “past life” being killed by Indians. This was in a dream, like a MOVIE. I had this dream in 1968.

      Over the years “past life” memories have come to me. I’m up to 10 lives now.

      My first memories of “past lives” were at age 3 or 4 “this life”. I always knew as a small child that I had had two “peasant” lives in Olde England. I clearly saw myself out in the fields. How does a young child “know” this stuff? I can’t exactly say but I just KNEW. A few years ago I had the insight that I “got all the ‘peasant lives’ out of the way” by having two consecutive lives in England.

      In 1973, when I was actually in Primal Therapy, a group of us from the center went to some psychic in Berkeley. Long story short she, to my surprise, said she saw a “crown in my aura”. I asked what it meant. She said that in a past life I had seen (the historical) Christ. The moment she said it (maybe power of suggestion?) I had a “movie” in my head of Jesus Christ walking by a group I was in, maybe indentured servants.

      In 2005 I had this little movie play when half asleep, half awake. It was in the 1700s in France, maybe around time of revolution. I was in an VERY upper class family, maybe French royalty. I was maybe 11. I was looking in mirror. I believe I died not too long afterwards. In this vision I HATED my life. In this life I’ve NEVER liked France, French and French antiques but I’ve LOVED Spain, Castillian Spanish, etc.

      Other lives were one as a maid in old England maybe 1700s or 1800s I was an inveterate flirt. I remember this other woman worked there. We were friends, yet rivals. She was jealous of me because I attracted the men. I REMEMBER the pub. I remember nights talking to her on a cobble stone street. I was actually jealous of her because I felt she was more feminine. I believe my gay friend in Puerto Vallarta whom I met in 2007 and talked to on the phone many years, and saw each time my wife and I went to Puerto Vallarta in subsequent years and guy whom my wife adored; was that woman in past life. I told him this a few times on phone conversations between him in Mexico and me in West Hollywood. He died, by the way, in November 2018 of pneumonia. NOT AIDS as everyone speculates. He finally found the “love of his life” after years of living alone, a much younger Mexican guy, Jose. They went to France (of all places) in September 2018. He returned to Puerto Vallarta and in October got very sick. I last talked to him in late October when I was sitting in Coffee Bean in Cedars-Sinai, trying to deal with my grief by going back and seeing Cedars. On that day he said it was the first day he felt half decent in three weeks. I immediately booked a trip to Puerto Vallarta for about two weeks later, but when I got there he had taken a turn for the worse and was basically in a coma. He died about 10 days later.

      In 2011, I had another movie in my mind while half asleep and it was of a life in meso-America where I had moments of illumination although the overall life contained much “pain”. I could see the verdant fields. I knew there was great cruelty in the culture, yet a connection to All Creation.

      I also had a movie in half-dream/half-awake state of being a infant in a crib. NO!!!! Not this life. It was DEFINITELY early 20th Century, maybe 1906. I believe I died not too long after well before my first birthday.

      I said this before but I will repeat.

      Our lives have very individualistic themes. The themes are related to one’s belief system. One incarnates to “wear the suit” of a certain belief system. That doesn’t mean that every “soul” makes a “wise” decision. Arguably, say Mussolini might have not incarnated when he did, for example.

      What is the purpose of this? What’s it all about, Alfie? Welp, it’s to GROW. Why else would 7 billion souls chose 7 billions life paths? Believe you me. Each and every one has a very SPECIFIC “life mission”.

      But the beauty of it all is that we’re not bound by say a small list of goals. We got free will,dude! Truly, the potential is limitless.

      A few souls are waking up to all this.

      Okay, where does Primal Therapy, Theory etc, fit in?

      It is about the EXPERIENTIAL. This is absolutely CRITICAL. This is why new age, metaphysical, mediation, even religion slow way down after the initial endorphin-rush.

      We gotta GROW and that means FEELING.

      Janov BRILLIANTLY described the process of how beliefs are inculcated–birth, infancy, childhood; you know the drill.

      But ole Art, he just did not see all that forest because he focused on the few trees. But it is for us the LIVING to keep the faith, forge on, evolve Primal Theory, of integrate, to assimilate thought; to live more in the persistent present, to remember more and more of our past (this life and other lives).

      By the way, you and I could not be politically further apart. Brexit is FREEDOM! And ole Boris, Nigel & Katie TOTALLY rock as the Slacker generation used to say.

  91. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    i guess the addition of this “page 3” of comments has made it possible for my old pc to allow me to be on this blog again. all my ram has been going to monitoring stray cats. anyway, that is mostly all i can say. there might be a training program going on at the institute but i think it is different than what you would be thinking of. anyway, i am still on the outer rungs of this therapy, what the f do i know. cheers. i did not go to vietnam. mankind’s greatest threat is that we always have super-alphas like trump who stoke the fear and the hate. all those bozo’s want is superpowers. the rest of us would just be happy to eat and be cozy. anyway we are an infinitismal speck in time and space, but we certainly feel big. what kind of bullcrap am i saying? there is just nothing on tv.

    • theultimateguru says:

      Otto, I’m not sure why you dismiss what you wrote here is bullcrap, for all the points you made were salient enough to our everyday lives for me to appreciate. It’s not going to happen 100% of the time, but you activate the chemical reward centers of my own brain more often than you may think. Your ‘super-alphas running amok while most of us just want to eat and be cozy’ comment was on point. I deal with that sort of nonsense everyday.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Otto: Great to see you back. The number of posts on any article on the blog should not be a problem. All, I reckon you have to do is, sign up to receive emails in one of the boxes just underneath the reply box. From then on, you’d have no need to search the blog article to see what’s new.

      Hope that helps.

      Keep looking after those stray cats. and I agree all we each need to do is make life nice and cozy, and open up to expressing our feelings … Yeah????

      Jack

  92. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    correction. monitoring stray cats, raccoons, my dog sophie, and an occasional possum. a big effort of mine last year led to all those cats getting neutered, however just this week, there appeared a new young cat who eats like a horse. now i go to bed and have bad dreams.

    • David says:

      Hello, Otto; Professor Dr. Richard Pitcairn, DVM, Phd; recommends ground pumpkin seed for worm eradication and prevention. He has a brilliant book for animal care. I took his course years ago, applied the info and had healthy, flea free, tick free, and, worm free animals, including cats and dogs. And no toxic chemicals. The average earth years life span of the animals was 20 +.

      • FRED says:

        Something about pumpkin seeds? I may try that next flea season with my three cats that my wife so KINDLY left me to care for .

  93. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNKZHHi0FSU&feature=youtu.be 2WBK RUB JOESBOX ORANGE WATCH GOOD Motion 57255

  94. Sylvia says:

    Raccoons do like cat food. I locked my cats on the back porch at night so the raccoon could not eat their food. The raccoon then went over to my neighbor and must have knocked over a planter and messed up her porch.
    Nice to see you back, Otto. Good thing you didn’t go to vietnam.
    I am surprised how many people are still for trump. I thought his abandonment of the Isis-fighting Kurds is the worst he has done.
    If you get tapeworm pills for the new cat she might eat less. There was one showed up here with a big appetite too, and wild.

  95. Margaret says:

    I just called the nursing home.
    since a few days mom was a bit agitated at night, walking around and going into other rooms.
    they decided to lock her door after some time, try out if that helped, while they would check out on her regularly during the night.
    they let me know, and I agreed for a little while it is better than starting up more medication or fixating her in some other way.
    I checked yesterday and today and she seemed more restful, maybe it was her newly regained mobility and freedom to walk that triggered her.
    yesterday she had even sneaked out of the protected ward following some people who had gone out through the code protected door, or maybe someone had left it open.
    the caretakers soon missed her and started searching, and found her in the nearby chapel, just a bit further in the corridor.
    she had seemed tired so then she was taking a nap when I called.
    so today I called again, and had a little chat with her, she asked me as usual when she would see me, so I told her the day after tomorrow, Tuesday, and next Sunday.
    I repeated it several times, every time she asked again, and then told her to be careful, to which she replied yes yes, there are just some doors that won’t open well. I reassured her it would be ok, and after some more chatting and telling her I love her, she said goodbye and I heard her give the phone to a nurse.I did not hang up rightaway and kept listening, and heard how she broke out in a deep crying.
    it affected me, I felt very sorry for her.
    I hesitated a bit about it but then apped my brother telling him about it, as I keep him posted.
    I felt bad at first, worried if it had been my mistake calling her and thereby triggering her, felt guilty about not going to her more often and wished my brother would again come weekly instead of every other week.
    but finally I realized myself crying is just part of what mom goes through, feeling sometimes lost and lonely and frustrated and scared.
    I sent my brother another text message adding that as mom had seemed a bit restless, possibly a good cry would dissipate some of the tension and make it easier for her to enjoy herself again afterwards. after all that is how our mom functions, she cries easily but smiles again easily as well.
    so that helped me to accept better how it is and to separate my own feelings of loneliness from those of my mom.
    these winter days between courses and with best friend out of the country, and not that many acctivities at hand this weekend, but household stuff and reading, it feels empty and lonely and scary to me too a lot of the time.
    one good thing is I managed to reach a long lost schoolfriend who was very happy to hear me as she had lost my adress in a computer crash.
    so that is a small bright spot in my somewhat barren social life.
    I also contacted sailing people to try to subscribe for a Belgian sailing week in summer, and the gym class on friday started up again too.
    also finally I had a bit of a conversation in the hallway with some of the Roumenian neigbours who always tend to leave the door open, which highly frustated ,e.
    one of them asked me about the bad smell they sometimes have, and I told them to contact the janitor as it is their connection with the sewer system that is inadequate and old.
    but it helped me a lot that he told me that that smell is why they sometimes leave the door open, which is much easier to accept than imagining they do it out of carelessness or even provocation, as they see me close it 15 times a day to keep the cold out.
    but now I can just leave it open for some time as finally I know what goes on.
    and so small things help to deal with bigger issues and to move on to hopefully more fun days…M

  96. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    John Lennon – Oh My Love (1971)–FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, MY EYES ARE WIDE OPEN. WOW THIS THERAPY WAS A BOMBSHELL FOR ME WAY BACK WHEN. RIPPED ME OPEN. NOT SO MUCH NOW. I MISS THAT INTENSE FEELING. FUCKING MAGIC, DR. JANOV. UNBELIEVABLE SHIT!

    • David says:

      A lot of intensity in your last sentences, Otto. Brought up feelings of being in the hallway before big group. PT is kind of like a water tap that keeps dripping after it’s turned on. ” Oh Mr. Janov, Primal really is a scream.”

    • FRED says:

      Lennon also apparently was precognitive. In November 1968 the Beatles’ White Album (actually titled “The Beatles”) was released. In the song “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”, Lennon sang: “The man in the crowd with the multi-colored mirrors on his hobnail boots, lying with his eyes while his hands are busy working overtime…bang bang shoot shoot”.

      Somehow, this seems to be what David Chapman did. A few days earlier he got an autograph from Lennon. Then 12/08/80 he fired five shots. Four hit their mark, that is. the body of John Lennon. It is important that one missed because “bang bang shoot shoot” implies 4 bullets.

      Chapman’s girlfriend, ironically, was Asian as was Lennon’s (second) wife.

      Lennon was living in the Dakota Arms. Lennon & McCartney, early on in 1964, were persuaded by their manager, Brian Epstein, to “give away several of their songs”; a group of songs termed “The Songs the Beatles Gave Away”. This was an horrible crime because some of their best songs were never commercially recorded. Over about 4 years they “gave away” two more albums’ worth but most were in 1964, to other acts that Epstein had signed up. Most of these were third rate, fruity Liverpool-area bands like the Applejacks. This proved that Epstein, while only 9-12 years older than members of the Beatles did not FUNDAMENTALLY understand what he had there.

      This leads to my next point. Some of the BEST songs the Beatles gave away were “From a Window”, “Bad to Me” and “I’ll Keep You Satisfied”. These were the songs given away to Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas. Yes! DAKOTAS. Thank God “Bad to Me” was available on acetate with John strumming guitar. It was on bootlegs for years and later on “Anthology”. However, as far as I know, “From a Window” a GREAT song was never recorded in any way by John or the Beatles. If some demo ever comes out it would be GREAT but I’m not holding out any hope. It would have been on Youtube by now. However, for ALL Beatles fans check out “From a Window” by Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas. Ya’ll will weep for the loss; maybe have a primal.

  97. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    TRUMP: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” he is nothing but a rich charles manson. psycho killer.

    • David says:

      Agree, Otto; my comment, exactly, to friends. To me the greater threat is the people who see him as credible, or sane, and those who would save him for their own vested interests and ideologies. I have relatives in Eastern, ( Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,) and, Southern, ( Georgia, North Carolina,) USA, who consider him, ” God appointed and anointed.”

  98. Leslie says:

    The hardest 3 things to say:
    1) I was wrong
    2) I need help
    3) worcestershire sauce
    🙂

    • Larry says:

      Do you know someone who needs to say them Leslie? 🙂

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: I would say most of us, for most of the time. Some are more able to than others … currently, the biggest culprit of them all is Donald John Trump.

        Jack

        • FRED says:

          I would just say this. Trump is not materially affecting my reality in a negative way. My more major concerns is to nurture my best friend each and every day. That best friend is my grief. It cannot be described completely. It cannot be understood entirely. It sometimes is UNFATHOMABLY sad, if you will. It is that Feeling Child someone spoke of 18 months or so again. The grief contains so so so so much emotional information. Indeed, it informs me, informs me of what I’m REALLY thinking.

          It reminds me that happiness is an illusion like that song said.

          It is there, however, NOT to cause me to suffer but for EXACTLY the opposite reason to transmute the suffering into a more palatable emotional experience where insights are the fruit and the honey.

          My grief is ME, part of me, an integral part, albeit not all that INTEGRATED.

          Of course, being in Therapy gave me at least the basic tools. My life’s path gave me MUCH additional information about the nature of reality. The death of my beautiful Suz transformed my rather previously lackadaisical, meandering search into something ABSOLUTELY exigent.

          I would digress. My Primal of 11/17/1996 at the Insight Seminar in Santa Monica blew open the Gates of Heaven (along with blowing the minds of the other 30 or so participants, seeing this rather strange guy having the most massive primal imaginable right there on the carpet) where I, if you will, touched the face of God, beheld the liquid white of the angels and heard The Buzzing; the buzzing we were trained wasn’t proper, maybe meant we were crazy.

          Society got it mostly wrong. Indeed we’re still swimming against the stream.

          Finally, my sense of righteousness I believe honed by my hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of real primals since my wife died 11/22/2017 ABSOLUTELY convinced me that Trump is best President on my lifetime. I was born during Truman Administration.

          • jackwaddington says:

            Fred: Sorry to read about your wife.
            I’ve read both of your responses to me and thought about them very carefully. When you wrote in your first paragraph:- “You are a good soul yet we disagree about SO much but that’s all right, that’s okay and as they used to say at the high school football games fall 1965 and 1966 “we still love you anyway”, that’s a nice thing to read but it’s not totally correct as there is the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of me also.

            The rest of it I do not agree with it at all, but that is your feeling and it’s not for me to say to judge you. However, I did read both … carefully … and gave them some consideration.

            On the second post, writing:- “My grief is ME, part of me, an integral part, albeit not all that INTEGRATED.” I find very revealing and some great insight for yourself.

            On the Trump thing; that’s your prerogative, but seemingly for most people (according to most polls) don’t agree with you. He’s never (apparently) gotten even 45% approval ratings. I am also fascinated by the Senate impeachment hearings and I’m not sure the Republicans can offer a good case, other than attacking the process. They rarely if ever talk about the actual substance of what he did.

            All this demonstrates to me, the absurdity of government and governing, and the glue that keeps this all in place … ‘money’.

            Meanwhile: I need to look into why I am so compulsively intrigued with all this, in particular since the US is not my country … if ever I have/had one, and I’m not living there anymore.

            Jack

            • FRED says:

              Again, thanks for being thoughtful. Grief must, in part, be pre-verbal in a “Janovian” sense because the character of grief has dimensions not totally communicable by language. I have a feeling that most posters and “patients” past and current have this kind of experience.

              Mankind is SO not ready to govern him(her)self so I don’t fret too much about the absurdity of government. Maybe some day, over the rainbow, this time will come. On that subject, the UN should rededicate itself to peace among nations. There should be freedom of religion, speech, some form of democracy. This should be Goal #1.

              On global warming or cooling or change, first let’s have the REAL violators China and India clean up their act. The air is SO much worse. Plastic is truly an evil. ALL plastic should be recycled. We need to find more biodegradable substitutes. Plastic and trash emptying into the streams, rivers and oceans is the WORST kind of sin against this paradise planet in which we live. SUCH a violation!

              Hopefully, prayerfully, this century will be the decade of the woman. I just have a feeling that women aren’t as warlike. I was so GLADDENED when Prez Trump reversed Obama’s rule allowing women into direct combat. When Barry (Barack’s real name) did that I was FURIOUS. Women have NO place in combat. I know. No human does. I agree but you know what I’m talking about.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: Since you wished me ‘good luck’ with regards to my C T scan. I went to see the doctor at the hospital yesterday and the result was:- There is no change from the previous scan, suggesting that it’s not getting worse … BUT it’s not getting better either.

        I’m OK with that. Jim isn’t … he wants it to be cured. I’m not sure what ‘cued is.

        Jack

      • David says:

        Food servers…?? (:

    • jackwaddington says:

      Leslie: I’ve been aware of these three the latter for many years going back to my teens. Pronunciation-wise its Wuster Sawse.

      The other two came much later after a lot of therapy, the middle one coming first and is particularly relevant right at this moment in time. “I sure NEED Jim”. and telling him helps with the relationship. The first one took a bit more time when I saw Jim was totally unable to even come close to admitting he was wrong … I then looked into myself. Now I find it relatively easy (though not always) for the very same reason as the one above … AND it stops the ‘spiraling effect’ (as I call it).

      Jack.

    • David says:

      – –
      0 0
      n
      U

      • David says:

        oooops… my attempt to, ‘ draw ,’ a goofy, smiley face gooofed

      • jackwaddington says:

        David: The real problem is the very dichotomy of right (righteousness) and wrong (wrongteousness) when in actuality neither exists.

        As for worcester sauce, that’s the craziness of the English language which, at root, is an amalgam of several languages

        Jack

        • David says:

          ‘T’is in the eye of the beholder…( humour.)

        • David says:

          We were taught Brit, spelling and strict observance of accurate punctuation. I’m still totally anal about both. I cannot say, ” ain’t,” and while I can swear with the best of pirates, ,” fart,” makes me cringe, like, ” how course and crass.” Weird old indoctrination.

  99. So true Leslie, something for all of us to keep in mind, especially in our darkest or hungriest moments ! 🙂 Gretch

    • Leslie says:

      Lol Gretchen!

    • jackwaddington says:

      Gretchen: There have been several questions of late in reference to the future of Primal therapy and I would be very eager to know your’s and Barry’s view on the matters.

      I’d also be interested to know your’s and Barry’s feelings on finding a way to PREVENT neurosis universally … especially in view of my possible/potential way:- Law, government and money, abolishment.

      Lastly; are there any trainees?
      I am aware there may be a very good reason/s for NOT answering these questions on the blog.

      Jack

      • David says:

        When certain questions were offered to Barry in men’s group, the stock answer was, ” Why do you need to know that ?” Good questions Jack. Is Dr,Janov’s Primal Center still operating ? I read somewhere that one of his objectives was to train therapists. Any chance the PI and PC will ever merge ? A PI in every major city would be the ideal. IMHO.

        • jackwaddington says:

          David: om:-“only parent as well as we were parented. ” I feel there are too many things to be taken into consideration to generalize on just one POV.

          On:- “I think it would be, at best, tough for fucked up, ( a PT term,): ) parents”. I sort of agree, therein IS the problem.

          On:- “T’is in the eye of the beholder”. Of course, and therein is the dismissiveness, that is being widely talked about, especially in the political realm.

          On:- “fart, makes me cringe”. What other word would make it less cringe-full? In the end, it’s all words, whatever the language.

          On:- “Is Dr,.Janov’s Primal Center still operating ?”. I have no idea.

          Jack

  100. Larry says:

    What is it that isn’t getting worse or better Jack, if you don’t mind my asking?

    • FRED says:

      TO: Leslie, Jack, Larry, David, Barry, Margaret, Gretchen & all other young men & women; as well as the scoundrels, the n’er-do-well’s, the outsiders (that is I), the slackers and the betrayed.

      One: “preventing neurosis universally”. I think Janov kinda outlined a strategy. Treat your babes, infants, children lovingly, bite thy tongue and count to 10 when necessary, etc. Love them from the “heart chakra” even when you “feel” no love and here’s an obvious. Don’t drink during pregancy. In doing all this you LITERALLY change not only your world and future, but the ENTIRE WORLD. It is called the Theory of Probabilities, or Probable Realities (aka, parallel universes).

      Two: This is my opinion but I would say that if ole Art underestimated ANYTHING it was the role of birth trauma; and believe you me. He didn’t give it the the short shrift if you picked up on key paragraphs in “The New Primal Scream” and “Why You Get Sick and How You Get Well”. When I read what he said in 1997, a big piece of the puzzle fitted itself into place.

      I now “get it”–how, what we think of as, “neurosis”, is so early-on inculcated. Birth Trauma actually has a verbalizable theme, ironically enough. Basically, it is almost the playbook by which the body-personality utilize to process events.

      But ultimately EVERYTHING must be felt. Feeling automatically allows for the riding back-in-time to the life event. Obviously we gotta a ways to go in that regard but at least the Primalers got some concept of the process, if flawed. We should get hoppin’ however. The sooner the better.

      Now, it should be obvious to all, that for most personalities, they ain’t gonna make it, that is, they will die before The Really Big Deal. This is almost presupposes, “reincarnational” existences; but who says we die at 75, 80, 90, 100?

      Maybe, just maybe the real treasure is still there, in plain sight, yet relatively undisturbed. And the Feeling Child weeps on, crying waiting hoping that some day Puff, the Magic Dragon will re-emerge from its cave.

      Coming home will be so sweet.

      • theultimateguru says:

        Fred, you don’t have to find my sarcasm about Trump University to be funny. More to the point I will just say that when you claim Trump is the best President who ever lived it makes it hard for me to take you nearly as seriously as I may have if you hadn’t made that claim.

      • David says:

        I recall Vivian telling a story about diapering Rick, she in a hurry to go out, finally frustrated with his lack of compliance, held him down. In short order he began having a scary monster in his closet. She and Art reviewed the recent past, and Art led him to revisit those feelings. I worked in human abuse for 40 years. The event Vivian related pales compared to the horrors I witnessed. But left unresolved the impact could have been a trigger for all sorts of act outs. And, oddly enough, folks who had survived the most bizarre traumas made some of the better recoveries, especially those who used substances to medicate.

        • jackwaddington says:

          David: I remember Vivian telling that story about Rick, but though a few of us had babies since therapy,. and to a far greater degree have babies, now adults better able to prevent neurosis or, leastways 99% of it, However, there’s always the chance that the very capitalist system we live under does not prevent all of it … sadly

          But does not address the question of preventing neurosis universally or globally is not resolved by objective means, neurosis. So how do we get all of us humans to experience SUBJECTIVELY, to fully expressing our feelings?

          I’ve laid out my idea. and contend it’s worth contemplating., which suggests to me, that it is a stupid idea, or not workable or that I’m not convincing. I’m currently assuming the last one.

          Jack

          • David says:

            With great respect for you, I realize it is gratuitous to mention, we only parent as well as we were parented. I know I was a better parent to my daughters. And I was a, ‘superb,’ parent to my step kids, according to them. The results of children raising themselves, and children being role models for younger children, such as is the case with the, ” middle school,” concept where Gr 5 – 8 are a segregated population, have produced tangible results, children who are loosely attached to others. There still seems to be belief that if they are fed, clothed, and subjected to, ‘ education,’ what possibly can go wrong.

          • David says:

            I think it would be, at best, tough for fucked up, ( a PT term,): ) parents, and other fucked up adults entrusted to provide care, to tolerate having their children to express themselves. I suspect it would be intolerable, and haphazard, IMHO.

  101. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    WE WENT DOWN TO SAN PEDRO FOR MY GRANDAUGHTER’S BIRTHDAY. SHE IS LOKE 3 OR 4 OR SOMETHING. NOW I AM JUST A DEAD PERSON AND FOR THE MOST PART I DON’T YEARN TO BE AROUND PEOPLE. AND I WOULD NEVER HAVE PICKED GOING TO A MOROCCAN RESTAURANT ESPECIALLY ON A 4 UYEAR OLD’S BIRTHDAY. THE FOOD WAS OKAY AND IT…WELL CANT FINISH NOW. DOGS AND CAYTS WANT AYTTENTION.

  102. OTTO CODINGIAN says:

    well lets just say the belly dancer got the kids a-dancing and the music was bright and it was like a swirl of magic time and space that came out of nowhere and burst into gorgeous blossum. magic. fucking magic. not like the 8mm film i have of me as a very young child sitting in a hifghchair crying my eyes out and a birthday cake and candles in that scene. but anywauy i have not seen so much organic fun maybe ever. at least not in a long long time.

  103. Sylvia says:

    Otto, looks like you are enjoying pieces of life again. I bet primals had something to do with that. Thanks for the share.

  104. Margaret says:

    yesterday something happened i dreamed of but did not dare to count on, me and my mom danced again during a musical afternoon at her ward.
    and sunday me and my brother walked out in the garden with her between us, also a milestone after almost losing her!

    today I was listening to the last of the six books in The dark tower series of Steven King, in which there was a very sad part of someone dying.
    it triggered me while listening, first just very sad but mostly adult crying, but then, even while the audio book was still playing and on some level I could still follow the story, it shifted to baby wailing, the tiniest baby , just after being born, actually right before that there was a short span in which no sound came out of me, no breathing either, just mouth wide open.
    the baby wailing went on for a while, turning from sad distress into sadness of some kind.
    after it stopped, I was puzzled at first at the connection between death and recently being born, but then it occurred to me my very first trauma was almost dying during my birth, which was very difficult, so I was faced with death even before being born which had a big impact on me.
    I still feel feeling being stirred while writing.
    in its own way it is reassuring even after not having been to LA for a few years, a book can trigger me into this kind of feeling.
    long live this therapy!
    M
    P.s. is the blog just silent or is something wrong with the mails?

    • Larry says:

      That sounds like quite a profound experience Margaret. I arrived home from the retreat feeling very disoriented and unhappy. I hoped that in short time I would feel safe enough to access primal truths that were stirred by my trip to California and by the retreat, but no, this Monday I awoke with the flu, so I continue to suffer miserably. Oddly though, I am finally feeling more settled and at home. I suspect that the trip to California and the retreat has stirred existentially troubling feelings from early childhood about not having a home where I belong. Time will tell.

  105. Phil says:

    Margaret,
    The blog has been a little quiet.
    That’s wonderful about your mother, and amazing about the feeling you had, triggered by that book.
    Maybe you don’t really need to go to retreats with that kind of access, but I’d still like to see you there.

  106. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    that is a nice thing to say, thanks.
    I certainly hope to be at a retreat with you as well in the coming years, or rather at several retreats and to have a good time there as well.
    how are you doing now?
    M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, I’m not doing that well. Still struggling with relationship problems. We had our joint phone session the other day, and I thought it was helpful, but it’s too soon to tell what it achieved. At least it did have us talking about our issues, as we weren’t doing that for weeks. I went to the recent retreat and that was a good experience and worthwhile, even though I was there only four days.
      I continue to be triggered by this situation and I don’t think that will improve until we get a resolution, or at least have some positive steps. It has resulted in some deep feelings, which I feel are important, even representing a breakthrough, but they’ve given little relief.
      Phil

  107. Margaret says:

    Larry,
    hope you get better soon!
    that sounds like an important change starting for you, to feel more settled and at home. it is such a basic feeling.
    for me some moments in nature came closest to feeling at home, even while having had cozy moments in my childhood and later years.
    I guess nature, at least when it is pleasant to be in, for me can feel, or could feel like it is right, it is how it is supposed to be.
    now even that I cannot fully savor anymore, sadly enough.
    still I do enjoy the wind in the trees and the whistling of birds, and of course the sweet company of my furry friends…
    M

    • Larry says:

      Maybe I didn’t make myself clear. No profound change happened Margaret. After returning from the retreat, I felt really awful, displeased and disoriented about my life. Now with the flu I actually feel better, more like my usual self, except for suffering with the misery of the flu. It’s as if getting the flu was a good thing, as if it shut down my feelings of existential torment. At the time, the only way I saw out of my torment was to aggressively make changes to my life, which I dreaded and which felt impossible. I suspect the existential torment will return when my physical health returns. For now I get a break from the torment.

    • Larry says:

      Being in Nature can be healing, but so can it be deadly. I mean, in Canada people can walk out their door and die if they don’t take precautions against Nature.

  108. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    sounds like you do all you can do.
    wishing you the best. M

    • Phil says:

      Tonight I had some big feelings which gave good relief, allowing me to engage with my wife better, ignoring for a moment the issues getting in our way.
      The feelings were about my mother in several scenes where I remember and describe feeling very overwhelmed and stuck. What I realized better now is that what was stuck was my feelings of overwhelming grief and need which were just too much, and with no one to help me. I needed to leave from those scenes and have my feelings, as I can do now. But I was pretty much shutdown and nothing could come out. I hardly felt any grief for losing my mother at the time I was a child. Last week I was transported back to a day it opened up slightly, but then I must have completely closed it off, at age 11, not long after she had passed away. . I am getting under all the bad treatment I received from my mother to the terrible realization of how much I needed her, but she would never be coming back. The people I was left with were never going going to be good enough.

    • Phil says:

      I posted a comment which now seems to be gone, so I’m going to try again.
      Tonight I had some big feelings which brought good relief, allowing me to engage better with my wife, leaving aside our issues for the moment. Maybe that will help a little to interrupt the negative cycle.
      The feelings were about my mother and some scenes from childhood where I felt overwhelmed and stuck in her presence. When she was very sick, not seeing me, and when she dead in front of me in her coffin. I’m understanding better now that what was stuck were my feelings, in those episodes, because of the way she treated me and how that impacted me, but also because of my huge backlog of feelings of grief and unfulfilled need.
      Some of that opened up tonight in relation to those scenes where I felt stuck. No one there was seeing me, not just my mother; my father and grandmother were of no help either.. They were all oblivious. With no help, I needed to leave and go have my feelings in those moments, like I can do now, but that was impossible for me at that age. No wonder I felt stuck.
      I think I hardly felt hardly any of that grief during childhood, Last week I was transported to a day when I was alone in my room, at age 11, sometime after my mother had passed away, Some grief and memories were coming out, but I think I closed it all off.
      The grief was built up from a much earlier age, when she already nonfunctional. It was too much, and no one was helping me. There are all the negative things I connect with and remember about my mother, but underneath are huge feelings of grief and need, and the realization that the people I was left with were never going to be good enough.
      Phil

  109. Phil says:

    So now there are two versions of my last comment. I hate WordPress. I looked and looked to see if the first one was there, but it was gone, even checking with another device. Anyway the message got through. Sometimes I need to share these things, and this is a good place to do that. Phil

  110. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    i am glad you reposted it, as that was the only version I received through the WordPresss mail.
    m

  111. Phil says:

    I’m trying out the WordPress cellphone app to see if that helps. Phil

  112. Phil says:

    From the recent retreat in Ojai.

  113. Phil says:

    This is my childhood home as it looks now, not much different than I remember. The window in front on the second floor looks like an addition, maybe an added bathroom. Also the back porch has been converted into a room.

  114. Jo says:

    Cantmake it work Phil,, it posts as a photo on my site but “copy image address” just cpmes up with the wordy link 😦

  115. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: I went to see the lung doctor this morning, and the results were very encouraging in that the potential malignant part that the C T scan and Xray showed was now almost completely gone. That was the good news. but she prescribed an inhaler, which the pharmacist demonstrated, which is very complicated to take, as it’s not a simple spray.

    The bad news was the journey to the hospital left me totally disorientated, even though we (Jim and I) took a taxi there and back.

    I suggested to the doctor that I was not surprised, as I seem to have a very good immune system,, which I feel is due to my therapy.

    However, I feel if Jim dies before me there will little point in continuing to live, and sadly I am unable to stop thinking about it.

    Jack

    • Phil says:

      Jack,
      That’s great news about your lungs. Do you have some reason to believe that Jim will go before you?
      Phil

      • jackwaddington says:

        Phil: No real evidence except that Jim is very prone to illnesses. And is a dedicated proponent of the medical profession and is in no way wishing to look into Primal therapy Primal theory. I have used what I know to help Jim to indulge his feelings on both expressing his anger by listening to intensely and not responding by distracting him of his feeling/s, and provoking him to laugh, by joking

        Jack

  116. Phil says:

    I’ll try another one, here’s a recent family picture:

  117. Phil says:

    I’m going to try an experiment, I’ll post a pic here and then delete it from my WordPress site. I think it will then disappear.https://phiban.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/image_5906ad26-c789-48bf-971d-8f7e7a4c3a1f.img_1089.jpg?w=497

  118. Phil says:

    I deleted it from my wordpress site and it’s still here. Paris, last summer.

  119. Phil says:

    So, my photo was deleted here after I removed it from my own WordPress blog. I’m removing my family picture too, as I don’t want it here forever.
    I have a lot of new found respect for Mitt Romney, who said today he’ll vote to convict on impeachment of Trump for the abuse of power article. At least one Republican has a conscience.
    That is really impressive from Romney; he’s going to be taking a lot of abuse for that.
    The good news for me is that my wife and I are finally working through our recent problems, although it hasn’t been easy. I’m feeling much better as a result.

    Phil

    • theultimateguru says:

      Phil, I have to say that Romney’s decision to break ranks emanates from the same fiendishly clever mind that enabled him to amass a $250 million fortune stripping the carcasses of troubled companies from his days at Bain Capital. I could go into a whole host of advantages this decision provides, of which Romney is well aware of. Trump’s health is falling apart, anyway, and someday Romney might want to run for POTUS again. What better way to run than setting up an image as a courageous patriot who broke ranks?

      • Phil says:

        Guru, I guess Romney is a strong believer in capitalism. If voting for impeachment benefits him so much, why didn’t other republican senators, who are also ambitious, think of that?

        • I can only surmise Romney doesn’t have as much to lose as the other senators do if they turn their backs towards Trump (moot point now that the impeachment vote is over). Romney’s set for life regardless of what happens. Maybe there are some Mormon Utah-related cultural explanations here as well.
          On a related note, Trump’s neurological health has been markedly deteriorating these past few weeks.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: Good to know you that you are finally beginning to work things through with your wife … That’s how it happened with me and Jim … when I finally I was able to just sit and listen to him.

      Jack

      • Phil says:

        Jack, We had a joint session which I thought was very helpful, and my wife was impressed with this video Barry recommended: . She looked at other videos by Alain de Botton, including one called “The School of Life” and would like to attend a workshop, but there aren’t any coming up in our area.. Check it out, what do you think?
        Phil

        • Larry says:

          That is a really insightful video. I first looked at it several weeks ago, then again just now after reading your post Phil, and it impresses me more on the second viewing. I’m thinking where circumstances feel appropriate of sharing it with some of my friends.

        • jackwaddington says:

          Phil: I checked out the video you posted, but I can’t say, offhand, I totally agree. I agree more with Art Janov, who stated that it was our neurosis that guided us to who we choose for a partner.

          If someone appears, during courtship, to be our kind of sexy person, then the tendency is to hook up with that person and close the deal.

          As I see it, the reason we chose the wrong one, is we see the sex-act as a gratification of the genitals, but that is not the whole story. Sex is more IMO that just ejaculation. It’s about loving the person for what and who they are … unconditionally, and that decision should be made before ‘tying the knot’ or leastways before there are children. Likewise, those very children need to be unconditionally loved (as we Primalers know) from the moment the female becomes aware of being pregnant.

          We’ve failed to assimilate sex into the act of loving when it comes to partners, and I for one am also a culprit That part never got discussed in that video, as I saw it. Hense, my disagreement.

          Jack

    • This picture is a group of my third and fourth generation ancestors standing next to their first family car in 1916.

    • Larry says:

      Strange to think of their lives still young and full of potential at the moment of time frozen by that picture, and that their lives have been lived to old age and death, and now their lives are at most distant, fading and eventually forgotten memories. Strange to think how the present time feels permanent, when in fact our allotment of time and the only reality we will know from the day we were born is running out and too soon will end, and will eventually be a forgotten thread in the fabric of history. Feels so strange to wrap my head around the truth that the reality in my soul upon which I base my life, that feels so centrally, primally important to me, becomes nothing eventually.

  120. https://time.com/5777514/women-wearing-white-state-of-the-union/
    Women Democrats wore white in protest of Trump’s state of the union speech. The symbolic protest marked the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote as granted by the 19th Amendment. It’s interesting to note that all the pictures I shared above predated that amendment. None of the women could vote when those pictures were taken, yet almost all of them wore white at the time.

    • Phil says:

      Guru, maybe white was the style or they dressed up special to be photographed.

      • Phil, most likely you’re right. The meaningfulness of photos 100+ years ago was probably a function of their rarity as opposed to the deluge of casually snapped selfies taken everywhere today. The white dresses did leave me wondering if there were any suffragist undertones to it, though.

  121. Phil says:

    Here I am with my mother and older siblings, I think during Christmas, next door at grandma’s house. You can’t tell, but my mother was already very sick, and would have to go to live permanently in a nursing home only a few years later.

    • Larry says:

      Wow Phil! All the pictures we see (not just yours) mostly of people smiling depict really so very little of what is actually going on in their lives. Good thing, I think, that when that picture was taken none involved could see the horrible future awaiting them.

      • Man, Larry…you make it sound as though Anton Chigurh is waiting just outside the door with his silenced shotgun ready to burst into Phil’s kitchen to perform his next hit job.

        • Larry says:

          That’s where I’m at UG. That’s how I see it. The point that I think I’m self-exploring is that as innocent little kids we need to hope and believe that the future will turn out alright, but for a lot of innocent little kids it doesn’t, and good thing when they are little that they don’t know what’s in store for them/us/me/.

          • OK, if you have to stay there I won’t fight it. It does show me how I also burden myself with a lot of different distressing thoughts of my own. When we have 75,000 thoughts per day, I suppose all sorts of weird things can happen.

  122. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    could you please e-mail me the link to that video?
    my screenreader could not detect it in the comment and it sounds interesting.
    Thanks, m

  123. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: I am feeling increasingly closer to my last days as the days progress. I am not sad or despairing about it, but just merely hope it’s short and relatively painless. when it starts to be imminent.

    The only real worry I have is about leaving Jim all on his own. Of course, he’s far more capable of managing than I would be if he died first. It’s his country, his language and he knows his way around.

    What is more important to both of us, in the meantime is we both love our home, our garden, and we have most of the means for being comfortable. even as our bodies are beginning to deteriorate.

    I just felt the need to put it out there.

    Jack

  124. Phil says:

    Margaret, I will send the video to you.
    Jack, The main thing for me is, I’m just glad that my wife was effected by the video in a positive way.
    Phil

  125. Margaret says:

    Phil,
    Thanks!
    I really liked how he defines love.
    he mentions generosity and interpreting, looking below the surface, and accepting weaknesses and need.
    and that not blindly, but while speaking up as well in an open but non aggressive way when necessary, which sounds constructive.
    I like that a lot, as it is subtle, not the rude honesty patients in PT sometimes regard as healthy.
    especially for relationships this sounds very useful advice.
    It is a very good thing the video was liked and I am happy things are improving, good for you two, always nice to hear about people becoming happier, this goes for you and Jim too, Jack. it is nice you and Jim have found peace in a pleasant setting enjoying each other’s company for hopefully many more years.
    M

  126. Margaret says:

    P.s. I just heard I got a 7 for my Literature study about the usefulness of green areas for people in nursing homes, with or without dementia.
    and accompanied with a very nice e-mail from the female professor which made it extra nice.
    now preparing for an intimidating course of statistics, focusing on experimental designs in practical and theoretical ways, argh…
    M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, congratulations for doing so well on that literature study!

    • Larry says:

      If researchers are going to use statistics to help make sense of their data, then their experiments should be designed taking into account the theory behind the statistical design that they intend to use. Good luck Margaret with the stats course Margaret. 🙂

  127. Margaret says:

    Thanks Phil!
    M

  128. Margaret says:

    Sylvia,
    how are you doing?
    M

  129. Margaret says:

    Larry,
    I was thinking back about what you wrote recently, about having to adjust to the knowledge our life is gradually coming closer to its unavoidable ending, no matter how deeply we are aware of our own personal inner life.
    it reminds me of some of my own feelings and thoughts about the matter, which usually bring me to the point of regretting never having had and raised kids, and my brother neither.
    it feels really like I failed on an or the most, important life matter, or goal…
    it feels like being a dead end of a tree, a branch that will never ever blossom anymore and continue itself.
    even while I know in my personal situation it was probably a wise decision not to go for kids at the time, being in an unstable situation with addiction issues and a partner that did not seem to care about starting a family either, and myself not feeling I was ready to have and take good care of a kid.
    it took me years in therapy before it hit me that actually I regretted not having one, that it would have been life changing in a positive way and deeply emotionally engaging and often fulfilling, the most intense ‘challenge’ and loving engagement one can possibly have.
    so I really feel this is a major part in which I feel I failed, and that is sad.
    it also feels like nothing goes on from me, not only my genetic material but not even just having helped a small kid to develop itself even if it would not have been my own.
    so what does life mean in that setting?
    what have we added to our world?
    what is valuable or will remain in some way?
    to that I can only find consolation in the idea I have done my best, specially in the second part of my life, while in the first part I was mainly ‘lived’ by my unrecognized needs and feelings.
    I feel compassion for that me, but also regret to have wasted all those opportunities.
    in my life now what gives me consolation is the feeling to try and make the best of it, and the feeling of being able to be there for others, to do my best to be gentle.
    being ourselves as well as possible is what remains, and that is not a small thing really, isn’t it Larry?
    you are a very sincere person and certainly do your best, which is a lot.
    M

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: I too have done a lot of reflecting back on my life and feel the reason could be, my life is coming to an end. I have very few regrets but not having children of my own is not one of them. I feel that is more of a female thing.

      I do have many embarrassing moments that I am remembering, but the most they cause me is to shudder at the thought,. I knew why, at the time, I did it/them and had I given more thought about how I might have avoided most of them.

      As such I don’t remember any regrets, and even some of the arrest I got actually were lessons to learn from, but your post got me a reflecting on any regrets.

      Jack

    • Larry says:

      Before I craft a reply, Margaret, I realized I need to know are you wanting to enter into a discussion to explore your feelings, or are you wanting to reassure and comfort me or yourself or both of us? I guess you are referring to my Feb 6, 6:45 am comment. By the way UG, I rewatched No Country For Old Men last night. What is most memorable for me about the movie is the ending.

      • theultimateguru says:

        Larry, I wasn’t specifically trying to encourage anyone to watch the film. The ending of the film was my least favorite part. My comment on Phil’s picture was simply my way of saying you seem to have a flair for the dramatic as you go about your daily living.

    • Sylvia says:

      Margaret, I think my mom was my kid. I always watched out for her feelings cuz she was so easily hurt and prone to nervous breakdowns. I understood her, her loss and grief in childhood. Maybe because I was a girl among 4 brothers I understood and could relate and care as a daughter. I think we had a similar nervous system, she a worrier and me also. I did not regret not having a child, my pets were good enough.

      cats are driving me nuts right now. Ate some candy bars the other day and got sick, is the answer to how I’m doing. Can’t handle junk food at all. Back to natural foods and carrot juice. See ya later. smiley face…..=^–^= S

      • theultimateguru says:

        A black cat found its way to my front porch this morning and settled there. I carefully thought about what to do (whether to feed or not) when scaring it away could bring bad luck. I decided to carefully back away from it without making a sound, so as to retain any potential good luck generated by the scene.

        • Sylvia says:

          I don’t believe in bad luck and black cats, poor kitty disrespected by a myth. I’ve come across stray cats who will let me pet them. They usually have a home and are just wondering. It wouldn’t hurt to pet it. If it should run away to the right or left that is not bad luck, that is just a cat habit. People who made up that black cats are bad luck had already a primal fear unfelt and projected it onto a hapless undeserving little animal.

          • jackwaddington says:

            Sylvia: I too don’t accept the notion of good and bad luck symbolism, but I do feel that Guru is entitled to express those ideas on this blog. as I do you expressing yours.

            Jack

  130. Margaret says:

    Larry,
    to start with, I like it you ask me instead of just assuming one mindsett or the other.
    actually I had no intention of comforting you or engaging in a discussion when I decided to write.
    I merely noticed something in me resonated with what you had written, even while i did not remember your specific words, but mostly the line of thoughts that must be familiar to many people of our age.
    so my focus was mostly on unravelling my own feelings and thoughts while writing.
    and as usually happens, for me, is that I automatically, after exploring the more painful side of my feelings or some event, I then also come across without any conscious effort, to the more positive aspects as well.
    it does not feel like a defense, as it is not a way of undoing the pain, it is for me as I say, like second nature sort of,.
    it reminds me of my mom who seems to be very alike in this way.
    allowing tears and pain while still being able to laugh sometimes in the middle of crying.
    Somehow, it feels healthy.
    I say this as your question sounds as if you wonder if I try to give you comfort and take your feeling away, to which I can only say that what I wrote was completely heartfelt and sincere.
    of course who knows what went on below the surface for me, unmet feelings so far, but I had no conscious intentions or need to reassure you, just went with the flow of my writing and thoughts.
    it is also very possible I was projecting my own feelings on you, as of course I know little about what you really are going through and feel in the present.
    I hope this gives you some idea of my mindset while writing.
    I do know I also have a strong tendency to take care at times, and sometimes that is more than welcome and sometimes it is not.
    in this case I did not even reflect on that while I wrote, just went with the flow.
    so in case it did irritate you in some way, I am sorry about that, but it certainly was not an intentional action of deliberate attempt of comforting, I expressed how I see you and what I actually admire in you, your efforts to make the most of life.
    M

    • David says:

      All I gleaned, Margaret, from your post was the words and sentiment of a decent person. If the worst that comes from my 35 year old dripping , ” primal,” tap is that I dare admit caring, I’ll not pay much thought or feelings to critics. Neurosis leading a person to caring palliative care volunteering
      brings no criticism from me. At 73 I’ve become more gentle with myself, most of the time. The lot I was handed was shit. I don’t need to participate in the abuse.

  131. Larry says:

    I think I go through a similar process, Margaret, in that I let myself explore painful feelings or events, but also see positives and progress. Eventually though the painful feelings become all encompassing and erupt into a primal.

    If you had been trying to comfort me, I would reassure you that I’ve felt through the substance of what I wrote recently that you referred to and have pretty much passed through those feelings and moved beyond them, at least until they might arise again and prompt exploration of deeper, broader connections another time around.

    On the other hand if you were exploring your feelings, then I’m glad that what I wrote maybe helped stimulate you to do so and I’ll get out of the way of your exploration.

    Thanks for you nice comment Margaret. 🙂

  132. Margaret says:

    P.s. when I said “ I know I am a caretaker’, it does not mean I do not try to monitor myself about when it feels OK or not to go with the impulse.
    in primal contexts I try to be aware of when someone is approaching a feeling, which of course is easier in a life setting.
    but in other situations what feels like the right behavior can vary a lot.
    Who never really needs some comfort after all.
    we had a huge storm yesterday night and for once, one of my cats who always sleeps by my feet, changed position and for once curled up against my side and was very happy to get some comforting petting, smiley.
    support can take many shapes, including letting someone have the cry they need.
    if I would have to chose how to make a mistake, I’d rather offer too much comfort than too little.
    guess I sound a bit defensive, smiley.
    I can only do my best and keep learning if necessary.
    M

  133. Margaret says:

    thinking more about it, what might also play is that I get triggered into feelings a lot of the time by someone being nice to me, as it can take away some kind of defense.
    and of course sometimes being hurt is a trigger, I prefer the first one.
    M

  134. Margaret says:

    Wow, in a documentary on TV learning about wildlife in Hawaii.
    there is a female albatross, number on her ring Z300, but named Wisdom by the scientists. she is the oldest wild bird known, 67 years, and nursing her 30th chick, feeding it after a two week hunting trip.
    the sounds she makes upon her return really sound sweet, the chick recognizes her instantly.
    during her life so far she has flown 500000 kilometers, which is incredible.
    Etc., beautiful wildlife…
    M

  135. Margaret says:

    thanks Larry,
    see, your nice friendly reply with the little sigh of relief it gave me, did me realize once again how I almost always brace myself against possible criticisms in any kind of situation really.
    the occasions when I can really ‘come loose’ of that , feel at ease and open up, laugh and chat and talk spontaneously and easily stand out, but luckily are becoming more regular lately.
    gradually the ‘tough’ mask I used to wear to hide the frightened child inside, is melting into a more unified feeling of ‘resilient vulnerability’ maybe, hard to find a way to describe it.
    both sides can still rise to the surface but not that often anymore, which feels good.
    M

  136. Margaret says:

    Guru,
    well, offering it some food might have given both the cat and you instant pleasure, and a possible friendly visitor and companion. how much more luck did you expect?
    M

    • theultimateguru says:

      Margaret, it was the first time I had ever laid eyes on the stray cat, and I wasn’t sure if it would simply run away in great fear if I approached it with food. Based on its strikingly monochromatic jet black fur, “Vantablack” would have been a perfect name for it.
      As for your question, I think it’s best for me not to second-guess my decision to slowly back away so it would remain undisturbed on my porch as long as it needed to be. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle demanded that I quickly look away anyway, so I wouldn’t witness the cat make any movement which would be widely considered as bad luck to the viewer, I once heard a black cat leaving your vision by sprinting to the left it brings bad luck, so the situation demanded I look away forever to forestall the possibility.

  137. Phil says:

    What you have to do to get a black cat bone is pretty gruesome and crazy:

    “After a black cat is caught, it is almost universally boiled alive in a pot of water at midnight, so that its bones may be more easily looked over by the practitioner. One particular bone, special to each individual cat, contains all the magical efficacy alone. This part of the ritual comes from the European magical text, the Book of Saint Cyprian.[4]”

    “A variety of rituals and methods are used to determine which bone is the right one, and preparation before the cat’s slaughter can vary according to tradition.”

    “One method of obtaining a black cat bone, described in Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men, involves a period of fasting before the actual catching of the animal. After the standard boiling of the cat’s corpse, each bone is tasted by the hoodooist, who then selects the first bitter-tasting bone as the correct one.[5]”

    “Another way to determine the magical bone, though it is otherwise similar in procedure, involves a mirror. When the reflection of the bone becomes dark, the hoodoo practitioner will know that it is the right one. A variation of this method is also practiced on the Sea Islands, where the one bone that does not reflect in the mirror is believed to be magical.[2]”

    “Yet another method of determining which bone is the correct one is to dump all the bones into a river. The bone that floats upstream is to be considered the bone of choice.”

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: What a horrific story. I don’t know why I continued to read it to the end.

      It demonstrates to me, the madness of man.

      I couldn’t help but Identify with the poor cat … being boiled alive. Gggrrr!!!

      Jack

      • Phil says:

        Jack,
        there’s so much bad luck that people experience; bad things happening for no good reason, that I can see why some people are superstitious. Bad luck is probably why we’re here or following this blog. The bad luck of being born into our families and for the events in our lives which have effected us severely.
        Phil

        • jackwaddington says:

          Phil: According to Werner Erhard of EST nothing happens for no good reason … OR for any reason; It is all a case of effect, effect, effect. I bought into that

          That we may deem it good or bad luck is merely a feeling someone has about something. I don’t see my family as being good or bad … just neurotic … and thus I became neurotic myself. My only concern as of this moment is:- go and behave in the least way possible, in order to have feeling-full life; for what is left of it.

          It is for that reason I came all the way across the pond … leavings my paradise island (Ibiza), borrowed the money to start therapy and worked my ‘balls off’ moving furniture and paying off my debts, and paying for groups and eventually retreats.

          Spending time thinking in terms of ‘good luck or bad luck’ in IMO, is a futile pursuit.

          Jack

          • Phil says:

            Jack,
            i was just pointing out that luck does exist, and that’s one reason why people are superstitious.

            Phil

            • jackwaddington says:

              Phil; I gathered that. I was just trying to explore the fundaments reason/s for the dichotomy of luck as either good or bad. eg, is there luck outside these 2 bounds?

              Jack

      • David says:

        I agree Jack. Horrid beyond belief. But…..Sounds like a more believable origin to godianity religion, than the little black books, Jack; at least the mental mettle of the architects is clear, primitive and insane. And no more insane . I wrote a short story some decades ago, the art work, an outhouse/privy, with moon and star cutouts on the door and walls, titled, ” The Outhouse or the Urge to Eliminate, Which Came First ?”

  138. Larry says:

    I feel there is good luck and bad luck, ie. events which we have no control over but which can cause a dramatic shift in the outcome of our lives, for better or worse. Our unwillingness to accept that we have no control leads us to superstitious (defensive) thinking in an attempt to feel we do have control.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Larry: I refer you to the commented I just made to Phil, Another example I would put forward is:- it a matter of luck that I/we were born?

      There is so much in life that we have no control over, like the weather or natural disasters, but to bind them into luck, good or bad, I feel, serves no purpose other than giving us some psychological reason for the happening

      Like:- Its pure luck the earth is spherical.

      Jack

  139. Larry says:

    This lady’s music, which my cynical self assesses as overly sentimental, nevertheless is greasing the bubbling up of crying for me today. For twelve days I visited California and attended the recent retreat. By many measures it was a fulfilling experience, yet I felt increasingly empty and returned home in a blackening mood. It keeps washing over me that I never had a home to come to the way I have fantasized that I had. I’m finally simply accepting that I am and have been, except when my wife was alive, deeply alone, and despite it I have to find a way to continue on and make something more for me. The truth seems and feels unbelievable, but nevertheless a solid and real foundation upon which growth is more possible than it is on fantasy.

  140. Phil says:

    Larry, that sounds a devastating realization about never feeling you had a home. What about with your wife; did it feel more like home then?
    Phil

    • Larry says:

      Phil, for the first time in my life that I am conscious of, home and the center of the universe felt like wherever I was…with her. I still experience waves of grief over losing her, as I did yesterday, but each time they are a deeper sense of loss tied to a deepening consciousness, appreciation and feeling of the otherwise emptiness that feels like the dominant feature of my early life. It is phenomenal to unravel the falsehood that I conjured up to survive childhood, and now to finally accept truth, albeit 6 decades later, of how alone I was in childhood. The reward for feeling and accepting consciousness-altering truth is that I can let go, move on and build something more real and worthwhile for me now, with what feels like a stronger, more powerful attitude. I don’t want to cling to a better past, real or idealized, for comfort. I want to grapple with what is, including all of the loss, and to hopefully summon strength to have faith that there might be good things ahead for me if I would reach out for and open up to them.

      There is a deep, full body cry about losing my wife that I am gradually accessing, that is difficult to fully open up to all at once like I should have been able to when she died, because it opens me up to the even deeper, more profound grief of what was missing in my childhood, that is difficult to face, but is more and more fully washing over me.

      I’ve noticed that half way through retreats the feeling of being at them becomes unbearable to me. It seems to me that the atmosphere of openness, spontaneity, trust, caring, and more real interaction that the retreat atmosphere fosters, inevitably pries me open to how much those relationship qualities were missing when I was growing up. I notice that at retreats I want to and expect to open up and be more real and honest with my friends, yet I feel like I fail to and half way through the retreat feel miserable for it, the deeper truth I’m realizing is that being at retreats stirs a deep emptiness in me that there is no escape for me from, that is the mirror opposite of the richness and fullness of interrelationship that I always fear yet hope to experience at retreats.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: that is so sad to read about your horrendous childhood. I sure hope you can find another loving relationship, but know no-one could ever fully replace Noreen in your heart.

        Tke care Larry

        • Larry says:

          No one can replace her Jack, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be room in my heart for someone else with whom a relationship could be as unique, meaningful and special or more so in its own way.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: It was so sad to read your post about the horrific childhood you experienced. I sure hope you can find another relationship that can give you some pleasure. Of course, no-one will ever replace Noreen.

        Meantime, take care, Larry. Jack

      • Phil says:

        Larry,
        wow, great answer to that question. It’s interesting how the circumstances of our lives, along with therapy, work to open us up to our childhood pain. I find you quite real and honest at retreats, and although powerful, I’m afraid those experiences can only open us up a little at a time. I hope you will be able to reach out and find good things in the future for yourself.
        Phil

        • Larry says:

          My ‘irrationality’ can be convoluted. Sometimes half way through retreats I feel I am the problem,…other times I blame everyone else for not seeing beyond their pain and making me not wanting to trust them and feeling really uncomfortable with opening up. But after I get back home I discover I’m no better off and just feel awful after a retreat. That’s when more childhood pain percolates up, stirred by retreats but I only sometimes make the deeper reverberating connections when I’m at one.

  141. theultimateguru says:

    I absolutely don’t want to interrupt the conversational tempo between Phil & Larry. I’m only going to jot down here that the black cat lucky charm didn’t pan out well. My favorite presidential candidate, Yang, ended his race tonight….a couple other unlucky occurrences today as well.
    No more lucky charms for me, I guess.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Guru: I feel you don’t have to apologize for ‘butting-in’, That, as I see it is part of this blog. If it were not It would be just one dialog after another

      Jack

    • Larry says:

      How would you know if the lucky charm had anything to do with the outcome, except if by lucky coincidence supposed effect followed the supposed cause and so you form the based on one example unproved conclusion that one caused the other?

      • theultimateguru says:

        A large part of it was my way of trying to drop out of the lucky charm conversation altogether. It was simply a fun story in response to what Sylvia was saying about her own cats. Somehow the topic grew more life than I expected!

  142. Margaret says:

    David,
    I like what you wrote about yourself a lot.
    and what you said about me as well of course, smiley.
    I have learned the hard way how valuable and precious a caring person can be.
    you sound like a nice person.
    M

  143. Phil says:

    I’ve been having more feelings on the theme of the loss of my mother. The old overwhelming need is coming through, despite all the negatives I’ve connected with coming from her over the years. There was a lot of bad stuff but the bottom line is I just needed my mother and she was taken away from me at an early age. Nothing was the same or OK after that. Nothing was done, or could be done about it.
    Phil

  144. David says:

    Barry Bernfeld, in his prologue, introducing Shane Roberts’ letter to Barry, ” This patient’s ruthlessly honest personal inventory detailing the damage done to him and the damage done by him to loved ones and others is heartbreaking. ” Both with light humour, and distinct seriousness, I propose that this confers on us the act of caring for others is both positive and acceptable. Recently I heard the vehement argument of a blind deaf person demanding that blind deaf people be left alone by the seeing, hearing, majority bent on normalizing the hearing and sight impaired. She went on to say she hoped any baby born to her would be deaf blind. My own 74 year life aside, for 40 years I was witness to every human abuse imaginable. A world where not only the wrong colour, but the wrong size, the wrong teeth, can impair or strangle even birth rite aspirations. I cannot imagine wishing the burden of sensory challenges on anyone. A friend, who is now totally blind, lost and regained vision 5 times after contracting genital herpes virus on his face and his eyes while in hospital. Blind jokes have been invaluable in his accessing his feelings about the impairment. He has laughed at death all of his life. His lifelong struggle to stay alive was a prelude to this current chapter. Fuck, so much. I feel for him. Whether a defense, a manipulation, decency, capacity to love, empathize, whatever, the misery of others I find heartbreaking.

  145. Phil says:

    Jack and David, you guys are posting on an old page. Right now Bernie Sanders is favored to win the Dem nomination, according to the “538” website, which uses statistical methods and is the most respected for political forecasting. That is very hopeful. Everyone who wants to maintain the status quo is trying to knock him down, but he’s running very strong with young people, and enlightened old folks.
    Phil

    • Larry says:

      So interesting. He is the polar opposite of Trump. I would think that a moderate or centrist would be needed to heal the divide in the country.

      • Phil says:

        Larry, I don’t think Trump is in any way authentic, he has no ideology, Not that many years ago , Trump was a Democrat and gave large donations to Dem politicians. He just wanted power and attention, and now wants to maintain it.. On the other hand, Bernie Sanders comes across as very authentic; his views have stayed consistent over many years. He is a true populist, whereas Trump is a con man. Sanders probably has his own desires for attention and power, like any politician, but he is far preferable to me. I don’t know that a moderate is what we need to heal the country, but I do hope we get someone who can beat Trump as the Dem nominee, whoever that might be.

        Phil

        • Phil says:

          Larry,
          I probably follow this all too closely, but I also like Elizabeth Warren who has similar views to Sander’s, and Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar is moderate, but I think she could beat Trump as she’s very experienced and a senator from Minnesota; the Midwest is key to the Dems success. Of the other major candidates, Pete Buttigieg is too young and inexperienced, having been mayor of a small city, and Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of NYC, a billionaire, the 14th richest man in the country, is a basically trying to buy the election, and I don’t think we want that, although he does do very good things with his money.
          Just my take on it all.
          Phil

          • Phil says:

            I forgot to mention Joe Biden, the former Vice President, but I don’t think he’s going to make it. He’s old and not as sharp as he used to be. Another moderate. Bernie Sanders can win because the moderates are splitting their votes in the Dem primary race, and he has good name recognition having run in 2016, and has all that experience from that last time running.
            Phil

            • theultimateguru says:

              I feel bad for Joe Biden because I think grief at losing his son Beau some years ago at the age of 46 devastated Joe enough to not even run for POTUS in 2016 when he had a very real shot at it since he was still Obama’s VP at the time. Yes, I think Joe’s grief has accelerated his decline these past few years.
              Andrew Yang should have taken the job as POTUS this year, but alas…

              • David says:

                While it is dangerous to approve people I don’t know, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Saunders stated persona are closest to my own values. Joe Biden seems, as his record suggests, to be a competent, decent person, but a status quo guy. Bernie would try to tow America, with it’s screaming and kicking OK Corral population segment towards the 20th and 21st century. To be at all successful that would mean tapping into the greed fortunes of the real power holders. I suspect they might resist. But.he’s likely the best president that the USA will likely never have. He really should have kept his admiration for Fidelle Castro to himself, until elected. That plays right into the hands of the rabid mercenaries. I fear all powerful wealthy would prefer to have Trump remain for another term regardless of individual political anchoring, whilst they ready an acceptable status quo , ” man.” Mike Bloomberg’s participation is evidence of that, I thought Pete’s entrance into the fray was encouraging, but, too, may have been part of the defeat Bernie program; ie: like Mike, limited chance, but enter then fold and throw support to Joe.
                Sad while tech changes have been astronomical, social development, as evidenced by modern popular thinking and behaviour remains tethered near the mouths of our ancestral caves and vines.

        • David says:

          Phil, I must point out, in Canada, a,” moderate,” is kinda interested in the dignified interests of all; shuns cannibalism, and will put their ass on the line to defend that. Well, I may have gone a bit far there. Maybe suffice to say, a moderate here is anything Trump ain’t.. To reference Trump, and I cringe, I suspect some politicians are decent, honest folks. Our former PM , Steven Harper, was kinda Trumpish, but bigger hands and vocabulary. He told a New York business luncheon audience he would rather be American. And like Trump got away for several terms with saying and enacting outlandish things. Scuttled the Council of Women, gagged scientists, denied climate catastrophe, heavily audited small public charities for political leanings, lied, directed campaigns of personal assassination, misdirected voters at polls; cold, paranoid, depressive. Trump has not distanced himself from the wackiness and skullduggery as most less insane, crafty politicians do. Do true narcissists believe that is unnecessary? Or is the psychiatric diagnosis more complicated than merely one entry in the old DSM ?
          The buffer line is supposed to allow a leader, hand on heart, to declare and avers having no knowledge of anything that could land him on the unemployment line. Trump thinks he is KEVLAR, and so far, he is correct. If he was to lead a mass massacre, a church, a refugee centre, he might be elected Pres for life.
          Oh I feel so warm and fuzzy and mentally congruent when I compare me to the T maniac.

          • Phil says:

            David, I’m reading a book that analyzes the psychology of Trump and his followers, “Dangerous Charisma: The Political Psychology of Donald Trump and His Followers” “https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Charisma-Political-Psychology-Followers/dp/1643132180
            It points out Trump has a craving for attention and for people who will follow him blindly, to bolster his insecurities and inner weakness. His followers need a charismatic leader who does something similar for them, filling some kind of need. It’s a very interesting book, and appears quite accurate. It explains why Trumps followers stay with him even though it seems irrational. It mentions other charismatic leaders and their followers.
            It also reviews Trump’s childhood, relationships, and upbringing, adding all that to the picture.
            It’s scary what’s going on with Trump and his core group of supporters.
            Phil

            • David says:

              It would take a very short clinical interview to peghole Trump. But seriously, he flaunts the most extreme immoral illegal behaviour and the Trumpinites kiss the hem of his dress. No effort, or,likely, ability on his part to even try to act like a sane decent being. The whole process of politics is like , the ” Rocky Horror Picture Show,” on steroids…

              • theultimateguru says:

                From around 1960 until today, how many total words and utterances about Donald Trump have been spoken by the masses of billions of people along with all forms of media spanning the internet, television, radio, newspapers, and magazines?

                Would 10 sextillion (10^37 = 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) total utterances or references throughout the world be a reasonable guesstimate?

                (Yes, I’m asking this stone cold seriously)

                • theultimateguru says:

                  Jesus, man, I think about my mother getting killed at 30 and it’s only worth a 130-word article buried deep in one city newspaper…and she had a brilliant career!
                  When I look at that compared to the insane number of Trump utterances, life is pretty much beyond pathetic.

                  • Phil says:

                    Guru,
                    What was your mother’s name? We can try to talk about her some more here, to even up the score a little, if that helps.
                    Phil

                    • theultimateguru says:

                      Phil, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but that really wouldn’t be a good idea here for a lot of different reasons. I just had to vent about how pathetic it is, but I’m fine otherwise. The very best time to have started paying attention to her case was immediately after her death in a mainstream context rather than originating from a Primal psychiatric care blog almost 50 years later.

                  • jackwaddington says:

                    Guru:: It sure is, and my sense is we’ve got our priorities all wrong.

                    Jack

                    • Phil says:

                      Guru, at that time, soon after her death, what would you have liked for people to have,said about your mother? In the media, or where ever.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: Just my con contentious opinion, but that division is norman and natural. It is when we let one person decide for the rest of us; albeit that, that person is benevolent or not, is the wrong way to approach it.

        We solve one problem and that solution creates another one … then we set out to solve that one … and on and on and on ad infinitum

        The saying goes:#- “we keep going downs the same rabbit hole, and expect a different result”. Yeah???

        Jack

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: for me governing and especially democracy. with capitalism is all beginning to fall apart as I see it, and I contend we are on the wrong path.

      I feel there is a need for a discussion (Primal wise), to see a way beyond it, for the sake of future generations and life on this one and only we place which we can live on … for all the fantasies of scientific thinkers, that we might one day, be able to live on Mars. Even if it were possible, we’d take neurosis with us

      Even scientists and the brainiest of us is IMO, is highly neurotic.

      Jack

    • David says:

      I just worry that the Trump will pull the old , ” Commie,” doll out of the closet and use the fear factor to seal another term. Any idea who Bernie’s VP woud be ? Weird, eh, the voters chant for change then work really hard to ensure the aristocrats thrive to repeat the crumbs for serfs and vassals routine.

      • Phil says:

        David, No word yet on who Bernie’s VP could be, although there’s speculation. Some names being tossed around, in general, are some of the candidates currently in the race, Warren and Klobuchar, or Kamela Harris who has dropped out. But I think Bernie would want to pick someone who would really be with his program. Trump will try to put that Commie label on whoever the Dems come up with in any case.
        Phil

        • David says:

          But Bernie proudly wears the socialist label. I am touched by him, as presented. How about Pete Buttigieg ? A youthful understudy to Bernie… but, is a homosexual even more scary than a socialist in America ? Have watched several interviews with Pete. Had a positive vibe. I mean, hey, if Trump can manipulate the oval office doorknob, how big an intellectual deficit is required to spell total disaster. I am glad the Trump wasn’t convicted. In many ways I find Pence even scarier. Unlike Trump he can imitate normal when it computes to be advantageous.

        • David says:

          Yeah, Kamela Harris, mid 50’s, academically and experientially accomplished; comes off as very bright and considered, not a fence sitter, doesn’t simply repeat talking points. I like Warren’s stated values.

    • David says:

      Jack and I are old farts, Phil. we’re not expected to be masters at the new fangled techinsanity of you young folk…

  146. theultimateguru says:

    Phil, I have to answer your question down here. I honestly don’t think going into all that is going to be helpful for me now. It’s honestly not necessary. Just because I was briefly pissed about how terrible the discrepancy is doesn’t necessarily mean I need further or deeper probing on it.
    The whole point of my illustrating the horrific levels of ‘attention unfairness’ was so we could learn valuable lessons from it, namely just how cheap a person’s life can be among other things no matter how accomplished that person was. Society is paying way too much attention to bombastic self-promoters, perhaps as a circus show diversion from their own empty lives.

    • Phil says:

      Guru,
      My assumption is it has to do with your old feeling, that’s why I asked.

      • theultimateguru says:

        Phil, the really sick part about the Trump saga is that, in spite of the fact we have ALREADY paid sextilions of utterances about the man, collectively we will be FORCED to devote sextillions MORE words to the man because of the dangerously powerful position he is in which won’t be relinquished lightly. We’re now being held hostage to paying infinitely more attention to him.

        • Phil says:

          Guru,
          Yes, Trump is going to get loads of attention, even after his presidency, and after his death too. But it’s not going to cure his mental/emotional problems. He doesn’t have the best reputation right now, I think it will be getting worse as time goes by. Also,a narcissistic and charismatic leader probably needs to be leading to get any satisfaction for himself and his followers, and at some point that will come to an end.

          Phil

          • theultimateguru says:

            I bet if I earned a PENNY (yes a lousy fucking PENNY!) for every time the word “Trump” was mentioned throughout the world since the beginning, the world’s entire $600-$750 trillion of household net worth would be firmly in my possession by now making for a perfect Gini coefficient of…..one.

      • Phil says:

        Guru,
        In my case, I like to see evidence my mother existed, and have her talked about. In the past I’ve felt disconnected from her, although I’m doing better with that now, so any added information has felt helpful.
        Phil

        • theultimateguru says:

          That tells me why you would want to keep that kitchen photo in spite of the backdrop of sadness,

          • Phil says:

            Guru,
            I wouldn’t discard any old photos, but my sister did just that. She threw out almost all of the family photos without checking with me. We don’t communicate, but that bothers me just the same. I don’t think she could stand having them around.
            Phil

  147. Phil says:

    A great Valentine’s Day story I saw in the Washington POst
    Phil

    By Melanie McCabe
    Feb. 13, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EST
    “I’m going to tell you a story,” I tell my class of high school seniors.

    All eyes look up. Nothing quiets a chatty group of teenagers faster and causes them to put down their phones more effectively than the promise of a story.

    “It’s a tale about love. And heartbreak.” I pause for dramatic effect. “And humiliation.”

    Their eyes widen. I add the clincher. “Mine.”

    Now I have them.

    I’ve been looking forward to telling them this tale. It is a story I’ve told every February since I started teaching in 1999. Its power lies, I think, in how it changes the way they see me. Gone temporarily is whatever omnipotence I command as their teacher. Left behind is an 11-year-old girl whose feelings are crushed — and each of them is outraged by the brutality of the one who did the crushing.

    “In sixth grade,” I begin, “I fell madly in love. His name was David. He was tall, cute, kind of a bad boy — which I found tantalizing. He had no interest in me at all, but I doodled his name all over my diary. Wrote DT loves MM in giant hearts. You get the idea.”

    They get the idea. The girls are laughing — and remembering.

    “So it was Valentine’s Day, elementary-school style. Construction-paper mailboxes. Someone’s mom brought in cupcakes. Our parents bought us those variety-pack valentines to send to everyone in class. Dreadful things with corny sayings like ‘Bee My Honey’ and ‘I Gopher You!’ ”

    All of them are laughing now.

    “It was party day. I spilled my cards onto my desk, and amid many small envelopes, I saw one enormous one — spangled with glitter. My mind raced: ‘Wow — someone likes me enough to buy me this giant valentine. Who could it be from?’ With trembling hands, I tore open the envelope and drew out a sparkly image of a queen seated on her throne. The heading read: To A Queen of a Valentine.”

    I give the class a meaningful look. “I was swooning with excitement. Slowly, I turned the valentine over and at the bottom I saw the signature and almost fainted: David. It was all too perfect to be real.

    “Then my eyes traveled up to the writing above his signature. In large, uneven letters, he had written me a special message.”

    My students lean in, waiting. You could hear a pin drop.

    “It read, “TO THE UGLIEST GIRL IN OUR CLASS.”

    Valentine’s Day off to a rocky start? They’ve had it worse.
    Feb. 14 isn’t all candy, roses and cupid arrows: for some folks, the “Hallmark holiday” brings back back awkward, cringe-worthy memories. (Allie Caren, Breanna Muir/The Washington Post)
    There are audible gasps. Mouths drop open. Some look down at their desks, seemingly embarrassed for me.

    “What did you do?” asks a brave soul.

    “What do you think?” I say. “My eyes filled with tears. My nose was stinging, my cheeks, burning. I was devastated — and so afraid that he and his friends were watching me, eager to see how I would react.”

    They nod sympathetically.

    “Well, it ruined Valentine’s Day for me. It shook what little faith I had in myself for a long time after. But I survived. And now I refuse to cede this holiday of love to the meanness of one rotten boy. Instead, it’s given me the motivation to undo the malice of David.” I smile. “And that’s why we’re going to have a party. A party that celebrates kindness instead of cruelty.”

    Their eyes light up. They are willing to let me take them wherever I am going.

    I hand out construction paper so they can make mailboxes. “You don’t have to, but you’re welcome to decorate them. I have markers.” A few studiously cool boys refuse to do more than scribble their names, but most students cover theirs with hearts, swirls and fancy lettering. I can attest that no one has more fun in school than an 18-year-old given permission to be 10 again.

    The night before the party, I cut pink paper into hundreds and hundreds of small squares.

    “What are we supposed to write?” someone asks when I distribute them.

    “Do we have to sign our names?” asks another.

    “Of course you sign your names,” I say. “You’re not going to write anything you’re ashamed of, right? The objective is to write something positive and sincere to everyone in the class. Even if it’s someone you barely know, there’s always something nice to say. Admire their fashion sense or their skill at basketball. Tell them you appreciate their friendly smile. Remind them of something fun you remember about them from grade school.”

    Looking on as they compose each message is always a treat. I play a mix CD of oldies and Motown love songs, and the vibe in the room is happy. Feet tap. Sometimes I can’t stop from dancing. But the real fun comes when they read what people wrote to them. Watching a shy kid tentatively open a card and then break into a big grin is worth all of the hassle.

    A decade ago one of my students named Julio confessed to a girl named Rosa that he’d loved her since third grade. For months after that, they were a hand-holding, starry-eyed pair. But romances are rare, and not what matters to me. There are far better measures of success.

    Three years ago a boy named Hal wrote me that I was the only one who had noticed when he was depressed a few months before and how much it had meant to him. Former students have shared with me that they have hung onto their valentines and sometimes read through them when they’re feeling low. Parents have emailed to tell me that the valentine exchange boosted their child’s self-confidence at a time when it was greatly needed. An especially sweet class had an artistic student draw me a valentine of a queen with the caption, “To The Prettiest Girl in the Room,” and everyone signed it. That one still hangs next to my desk

    After 20 years of teaching, I harbor few hopes that students will retain all of the grammar or vocabulary I taught them. Maybe they will remember a book or two with some pleasure, or a fun and creative writing assignment. But if all a student recalls of one of my classes are the valentines they received one long-ago February, to me that makes all of it worthwhile.

    In recent years, the world that all of us inhabit has grown uglier — more divisive and unkind. Today there are bullies we contend with via social media who are far more powerful and corrosive than the childhood villain I remember so vividly.

    Add to that the high-stakes push to achieve, to earn A’s, to get into a top college that dominates the lives of my current students, and they are left saddled with a level of stress far greater than anything I experienced decades ago. If, for one day a year, I can help them turn all of that off, if I can create an environment where they are intentionally kind to one another, then I count that as something to be proud of.

    And whatever hurt David intended for me all those years ago, it has now been canceled out, many times over. I think he would be startled by his legacy.

  148. Leslie says:

    Thank you so much for that Phil! Love it!!
    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  149. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone:
    I have been reflecting on many events in my life recently; especially when I go to bed and don’t fall asleep immediately. It is incredible just how many places I’ve been to and where I have lived and the people I have met. I am not sure if these are a result of knowing I am at the end of my life (relatively).

    I see a little more fully how I felt at the time and how much of it was sort of accidental, and has lead me to this point. Things could have been much worse and not sure if any of them would have made life better. My greatest achievement was discovering this therapy and it was a bit of hit and miss that I even got to read “The Primal Scream”.

    The last one being:- meeting Jim my partner. That also was pure chance; and pure luck that it survived these last 40 years. However, I dread the prospect of him dying first and I also fear what he might have to go through if I die first. Other than all that I am able to accept old age and even death, on the premise that it is quick and painless (everyone’s wish & maybe a forlorn hope).

    I have no illusions there is anything for me after death.

    Jack

  150. Phil says:

    One of our neighbors passed away a few days ago; he was 89. He and his wife have been our friends since we moved here 27 years ago. Also our kids were friends with their grandkids, who were around very often. My wife basically took on these people as her surrogate parents here, as her own are far away. I’m sad, and also sad about how I set myself apart and couldn’t feel so close like that. My wife would often go to their house, and I wouldn’t, so it doesn’t hit me that hard, just that I should have been able to do better. Today I found it hard to go across the street to express my condolences, as there were so many cars there. I finally went and they were glad to see me; it wasn’t so hard. It’s just an example of the kinds of things which still hold me back and get in the way. Phil

  151. jackwaddington says:

    Hi everyone: This ‘coronavirus’ and its rapid spreading is getting very frightening and I contend the medical profession is remiss and totally on the wrong track to solving/resolving it.

    I contend that it’s most vulnerable to those with the least efficient IMMUNE system/s, and is further exacerbated by the various professions that try to resolve these viral infections through pharmacology. As I see it we’re approaching the problem from the wrong perspective. In a weird sort of way, we actually create these viruses by our approaches to getting rid of them, only for them to mutate into something less eradicable. Just my little theory

    I would be interested in Larry’s take on it all.

    Jack

    • theultimateguru says:

      2770 people have died from coronavirus since it was first reported January 1st.

      175,000 people have been killed in car crashes during the same time frame.

      The topic is a waste of time & energy.

      • jackwaddington says:

        Guru: I agree. What I would like to read from you is:- any ideas for a solution as to resolving both or either one.

        I personally see it as ONLY being able to be resolved is:- by ridding humanity of neurosis.

        If public transport was the only means of traveling, then the only other problem might be the transporting of goods. … of course, there’s technology and self-driving automobiles, but are all these just tweaking around the edges?.

        Jack

        • theultimateguru says:

          Jack, I won’t be offering a solution to either problem. I want a house in Malibu with a Bentley, a speedboat, and all insurance, maintenance, and property taxes paid for in perpetuity first before I discuss solutions for humanity.

          I should give a disclaimer here that there’s a small chance this virus COULD exceed the mortality of traffic collisions, but we’re still a very long way from that point. If it does, I will begin setting aside my own topic.

    • Larry says:

      I don’t think about it much, Jack. Disease has always been with us. I had a flu in early February that I am still rebounding from. I’m glad I had a pneumonia shot in early January. I see nothing wrong with trying to understand the cause of disease and trying to protect ourselves from it and we in materially rich countries have been pretty successful protecting ourselves, so successful that we tend to think we are no longer susceptible to the vagaries of Nature.

      I’m kind of shocked to discover that the land in northern Canada is still rebounding and rising, after the weight of 4 km high glaciers that was on it…including on my home city, receded only 10,000 years ago. The land will continue rebounding and rising for another 10,000 more years before it comes to rest. I feel unsettled at reading that as the land rises, the water in the large lake north of my home city will move south and in 10,000 years will submerge my home city.

      There have been 20 or more cycles of glaciation where masses of ice covered much of the northern hemisphere, and at one time millions of years ago the entire planet was ice. If not for global warming due to human generated greenhouse gas emissions, we would now or soon be entering another cycle of glaciation.

      “Nature” does its thing irregardless of our lives. We can try, but we can’t always control its effect on us. I’m glad my life is relatively safe and comfortable so far. Too many lives are not and so very many people have had a horrible life and end. Mine isn’t impervious to disaster, but I will do what I can to live as best and as long as I can, and I’m grateful for any advances in knowledge and in civilization that help us to have a better chance at living safe, comfortable lives.

      If you asked me the question for the sake of disagreeing and arguing with me, I’m not interested in arguing with you.

      Otherwise, how are you Jack?

      • jackwaddington says:

        Larry: Thanks for your response; and “no”, I wasn’t looking for an argument, just interested in YOUR particular take, as I felt it was your subject and career or near enough to it. so thanks again for your response.

        As for me, it’s a tricky one, as I have never met or heard of anyone that was willing to share their deeper feeling/s on knowing they are coming close to death, and so I felt this blog would be the best place to air my feeling/s on the matter.

        I am not unhappy or disgruntled about my condition and feel lucky that I’m able to accept it, though a lot is dependant on my relationship with Jim, that is going exceeding well, AND for this therapy that completely changed my life.

        I do confess to still having many compulsions and slowly becoming aware of even more … one of them being argumentative; not for the sake of winning, but more like I did with playmates when young … as entertainment … and fun. I feel most people, including my ‘Jimbo’ take it far too seriously, and personally … like it’s a strike against them. | don’t see or feel it that way. As I’ve said before ” I love the banter”

        Jack

  152. Phil says:

    We’re all going to die of something, sooner or later, and now, because of the Chinese appetite for exotic animals we have this new corona virus, which just represents a new way to get sick and die.
    Because it hasn’t been contained, it looks like it’s a new infectious disease we will be dealing with continually.Trump has been very irresponsible in his statements about it. He seems to be more worried about the stock market than our health.
    Phil

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: That “We’re all going to die of something, sooner or later,” is no consolation. eg. telling a child, dying and in great pain “We’re all going to die of something, sooner or later” is no help to that dying child,

      What I was proposing was that our interference in curing us of these types of diseases is perhaps another example of ‘unintended consequences’. My take, theory, what you will; has more to do with flawed immune systems, rather than some we contracted a disease through some people’s desire to buy exotic animals.

      I agree that anyone wanting to cage any other creature is a direct example of our unfeeling-full-ness (neurosis). We have a knack of going down the same ‘rabbit hole’ and expecting a different result ……… if you get my drift!!!

      I could be ‘way off track myself’.

      Jack

      • Phil says:

        Jack, in China many people want to eat exotic animals which are thought to contain powerful remedies.
        Even people with perfectly healthy immune systems are susceptible to infectious diseases. We are in a continual war with microorganisms which are also trying to thrive and survive. We aren’t always going to win. Phil
        Phil

        • Renee says:

          Phil, I think your narrative of “Chinese eating exotic animals” is both misguided and racist.
          In fact, it looks like climate disruption might be the underlying cause. Take a look at this:
          https://www.thenation.com/article/environment/coronavirus-habitat-loss/
          “Although stories illustrated with pictures of wild animals as “the source” of deadly outbreaks might suggest otherwise, wild animals are not especially infested with deadly pathogens, poised to infect us. In fact, most of these microbes live harmlessly in these animals’ bodies…….The good news is that, because we are not passive victims of animal microbes invading our bodies but fully empowered agents who turn harmless animal microbes into pandemic-causing pathogens, there’s much we can do to reduce the risk that these disease-causing microbes emerge at all.”

          • Phil says:

            Renee, this article doesn’t really contradict the idea that the source of the virus was wild animals. “Scientists have fingered bats and pangolins as potential sources of the virus, but the real blame lies elsewhere—with human assaults on the environment.” We are to blame, but those microbes are still thought to come from wild animals. There is news that the Chinese government plans to clamp down on the trade of wild animals, which I think is a good idea. Phil

          • jackwaddington says:

            Rene: I thought your take was very appropriate. I read the site, and agree, the root of it may lie with our human assault on the environment, and depriving these creatures of their natural habitat, was more on point.

            Jack

            • theultimateguru says:

              Was Henry Ford a wild animal for propagating the Model T Ford contributing to tens of thousands of auto fatalities thereafter?

              • jackwaddington says:

                Guru: the quick short answer is:- YES. It’s all “effect, effect, effect” as promoted by Werner Erhard in his ‘EST’, sessions.

                Example:- as it relates to your very existence and being born;- If your father had married another woman rather than your mother, would you have ever exited? … and that applies to all of us … hence it’s not ’cause and effect’ as much as it all about what caused the “cause” that created the effect. Hence:- effect, effect, effect, all the way back downtime

                Eg. what was the cause that affected the creation of us humans?
                What was the cause of the creation of the universe? … a study that Steven Hawking spent a lifetime dwelling upon? AND, as I see it, caused his Lou Gerrick disease?
                He was all in his head … as I am right now.

                Jack

                • Phil says:

                  Jack,
                  We are all here because a certain of our father’s sperms was a better swimmer, or at the front of the line, at the right moment. Just another example of how random the world is, and our existence.
                  Phil

                  • jackwaddington says:

                    Phil: I totally, fully and absolutely agree with all that wrote and even go as far to say it applies to the laws that other people make for us, and the governments and their constitution, and the GLUE that holds all that chaos together ‘MONEY’

                    Doesn’t it also apply in all areas of our lives and living of it???

                    Jack